Tackling Educational Disadvantage

The Tackling Educational Disadvantage Team within the Department of Education has been examining the issues associated with educational underachievement and socio-economic disadvantage since its inception in May 2017. The issues are wide ranging and the solutions complex and multi-faceted. Northern Ireland is not on its own in facing these challenges.

The Department has a wide and varied range of policies and programmes in place designed to support children from deprived backgrounds reach their full potential.

Those falling under the responsibility of the TED team include:

  • Extended Schools and Full Service programmes;
  • West Belfast Sharing the Learning Programme and West Belfast Community Project;
  • North Belfast Primary Principals Support Programme;
  • Targeting Social Need funding; and
  • Parental Engagement and Attendance Advertising Campaigns.

Others across the Department include (but are not limited to) the Children and Young People’s Strategy and Delivery Plan; the policy for school improvement Every school and Good School; literacy and numeracy strategy Count Read Succeed; the SEN and Inclusion Framework; the Pre-school Education Programme; Sure Start Programme; Getting Ready to Learn Programme; Pathway Fund; Toybox Project; Extended Services; Bright Start Grant Scheme; Shared Education; the Promotion of Integrated and Irish Medium Education; Free School Meals; School Uniform Grants and Education Maintenance Allowance. 


Tackling Educational Disadvantage - 10 Features of Effective Schools “Star” Case Studies Paper

The Department of Education has published (January 2020) the following: “Tackling Educational Disadvantage - 10 Features of Effective Schools “Star” Case Studies Paper”.

This highlights 10 key features of local post-primary schools that have been successfully tackling educational disadvantage. 

The paper arose out of a series of visits to post-primary schools.  The visits were to enable DE to identify and better understand how educational disadvantage can be addressed within schools.  The schools selected were chosen because they were producing good or improving results whilst operating in challenging circumstances.  The objective of the school visits was to identify and better understand the features that contribute to those schools’ successes.

Each of the schools contributed input to the paper in case study format providing individual examples of initiatives that their schools had employed.  We hope that the document will prove useful to other post-primary schools in helping to address educational underachievement linked to socio-economic disadvantage.

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