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Northern Ireland Assembly

Monday 16 November 2009

Ministerial Statement:
Together Towards Entitlement

 I have quoted many statistics in this House in the past, but I remind Members that, two years ago, 12,000 people left our schools without a GCSE in English or maths. That is a very high number; it represented 47% of school leavers. We need to take a good, hard look at the policies that the Department brings forward because they are already making a difference and will continue to do so. Focusing on underachievement will bring about changes in our system and will create equality and academic excellence for all.

The policy of the DENI which does not require pupils to take GCSEs in English/Irish or Mathematics should be the first thing that Minister Ruane and her Permanent Secretary, William Haire should look at. Concurrently the entire Assembly should ask themselves what sort of education entitlement allows pupils to avoid measurement of their numeracy and literacy skills.