Press Releases | McDonnell: Educational underachievement is single biggest social issue McDonnell: Educational underachievement is single biggest social issue

McDonnell: Educational underachievement is single biggest social issue McDonnell: Educational underachievement is single biggest social issue

SDLP Leader Dr. Alasdair McDonnell MP has said that research from the Community Relations Council underlines educational underachievement as the single biggest social issue facing Northern Ireland.

Dr McDonnell said:

 “The research carried out by the Community Relations Council makes for troubling reading. It shows that a range of ethnic groups across our communities are failing, in worryingly large numbers, to achieve 5 good GCSE grades.

“The situation is most acute for Protestant males receiving free school meals, members of the travelling community and members of the Roma community. Less than 20% of these young people are achieving 5 good grades. That state of affairs reflects shamefully on our society.

“It is imperative that the Education Minister and the wider Executive pulls together to deal with educational disadvantage. Recognition is an important first step but we now need action to tackle the problem.

“In a climate where jobs continue to remain scarce on the ground, low educational achievement puts young people at a severe disadvantage. It also has knock on implications for overall employment and the economic recovery here. We cannot afford, both morally and economically, to continue to let the issue drift under the radar.”

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