Educational underachievement: Dodgy stats from the NIO?

Since David Hanson announced his �33 milion spending programme for loyalist areas, the impression has been created in the media that educational underachievement is a problem almost exclusively affecting protestant areas. To support this assertion, the line has been spun that protestant wards accounted for 13 of the 15 most deprived in terms of educational underachievement. In fact, this does not square with the NIO’s own statistics, which reveal educational underachievement to be a much more evenly distributed problem, particularly in north and west Belfast. (Click on ‘MD 2005 Super Output Area level’ on the linked page to view the results of the deprivation study.)