The Public Accounts Committee has strongly criticised the lack of impact of the Department of Education’s £40m literacy and numeracy programme (Full report here pdf file). The problem is also particularly acute in Protestant working class communities. Labour MP Ian Davidson said there is:
“an enormous discrepancy between Catholic and Protestant children…This is particularly in Belfast, in working class areas, which we find very difficult to explain…What was absolutely clear was that in Northern Ireland, (Catholic) youngsters from deprived working class areas did much better – in terms of results – than did their Protestant equivalents. Their Protestant equivalents were those who were out from the norm.”
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