New Education Minister must prioritise helping vulnerable and low achieving pupils

Lagan Valley Alliance MLA Trevor Lunn has demanded that the new Education Minister Caitríona Ruane help vulnerable and low achieving school pupils. His comments come on the day that a report by the Northern Ireland Chief Inspector of Schools, Marian Matchett, is to be published outlining these problems. Trevor Lunn also called for the new Minister to focus on creating more links between colleges and employers to provide more job opportunities for young people.

Trevor Lunn MLA said: “Our new Education Minister Caitríona Ruane must do all she can to help vulnerable pupils and provide extra educational support in schools for them. Today’s report from the Northern Ireland Chief Inspector of Schools should act as a wake up call and will let Caitríona Ruane know that she must hit the ground running on 8 May.

“She must ensure that our education system gives young people a wide range of skills to help them after they leave school or college.

“She must also set an ambitious target of increased literacy and numeracy levels in Northern Ireland.

“Another way in which we can give our young people the best career prospects is to create further links between college and employers and create more opportunities for apprenticeships and work placements. We must also ensure that the training and qualifications offered locally meet the needs of employers, and the education sector must forge stronger links with the business community.

“Another aspect of the report which presents grave concerns is that the number of schools taking part in community relations programmes is decreasing. These numbers should instead be increasing to ensure that we can work effectively towards a shared future in Northern Ireland.”


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