CSSC research shows complexity and diversity of controlled education

The Controlled Schools’ Support Council (CSSC) launched its baseline assessment of the controlled schools sector in Northern Ireland on Monday 18 September. Controlled schools are non-denominational and firmly set within an ethos embedded in Christian values. They are open to pupils of all faiths or none, and account for 558 or 48% of all schools in Northern Ireland. As CSSC’s research demonstrates, the controlled education sector is complex and diverse. It is also the only education sector to comprise a …

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NI Commissioner for Public Appointments: “We just do not have diverse representation on our public boards.”

The new Commissioner for Public Appointments in Northern Ireland, Judena Leslie, made her first media appearance on BBC NI’s The View last week.  And she began where her predecessor left off, criticising the lack of diversity in those public appointments.  From the BBC report Northern Ireland has about 1,400 public appointments, ranging from unpaid boards of further education colleges to many high profile paid positions. Women, ethnic minorities and people with a disability are all under-represented on public bodies. Thirty-three …

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NI Public Appointments Commissioner: “Despite all the supportive talk in principle I don’t see any change in the public appointment process.”

When the previous Commissioner for Public Appointments in Northern Ireland, Felicity Huston, stepped down from the role in 2011 she, pointedly, wished whoever her successor would be “the best of luck”, noting that She said there were difficulties asserting her role as a regulator at Stormont. “People recruit people who look like them, sound like them and have the same life and work experiences,” she said. The commissioner said there were other issues about the independence of her position. “The …

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Sunder Katwala on diversity: “having your own rights is about respecting the rights of others…”

A British Future conversation about identity from Pakistan Calling on Vimeo. As part of the Pakistan Calling project, second generation Corkman, Sunder Sunder Katwala Director of British Future… talking about the discomfort that people feel about living together: ‘Can we agree the rules of how we are getting along? Freedom of religion is the absolute fundamental right of British society, as is the freedom not to believe. And so having your own rights is about respecting the rights of others. …

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Tomorrow’s #DigitalLunch: Does positive discrimination work?

So, tomorrow’s #DigitalLunch asks: Does positive discrimination actually work? There are optimists like Shelley Horan (H/T Dearbhail)… But there are also some interesting challenges to laws that discriminate in favour of women or particular minorities… In Northern Ireland we’ve had the (albeit timebound) commitment to 50/50 recruitment policy to ensure a sea change in the make up of the policing service which was historically (if for divergent) reasons predominantly Protestant. In Texas Abigail Fisher is suing the University of Texas …

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Peaceniks should be enhancing diversity not trying to make it disappear…

Interesting piece from Brian Feeney in yesterday’s Irish News on the Community Relations Council’s Peace Monitoring report (see Alan’s post here, and Chris’s follow up here). Let’s just say, he’s not impressed: Look there isn’t going to be cohesion or integration. If there were, then we wouldn’t be talking about a politico-ethnic conflict. What the executive needs to be doing is addressing sectarianism and that doesn’t mean abolishing diversity as the Alliance party wants or trying to wish away the …

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Diane Abbott and Labour’s political monoculture…

Diane Abbot for Labour Leader? Well, she’s sneaking up slowly in the amount of backers she’s got, from herself and David Lammy now up to six. But she is still a very long way short of the 33 she needs to make the leadership contest in September. One problem is, she left her announcement a little late. The other is her Campaign Group colleague John McDonnell jumped the gun somewhat and threw his hat in the right before talking to …

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