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Pandemic transfer test debate lacks a resolution
Even if the transfer test goes ahead, it might cause more problems than it prevents for an Education Minister who is wholly committed to academic selection.
Homework is complicated
Can homework plug the learning gap? Work from Parenting NI indicates the benefits of homework are complicated – and there is no one perfect policy.
Domestic violence in NI is epidemic
Almost one in five recorded crimes in Northern Ireland are crimes of domestic violence. Incidences of abuse in the home are on the rise. Covid-19 and lockdown has played a part – but the problems go deeper.
Is Northern Ireland ready to go back to school?
The local R number is above one, which is a potential disaster given schools are supposed to open their doors in a week or two. Renewed restrictions elsewhere could be needed.
Education relies on pupils’ mental health
Local children will soon be back at school. Catching up on education is vital – but so is pupils’ mental health. Scope looks at a new report from Barnardo’s NI that gathered evidence from teachers and other education staff.
Northern Ireland has the lowest poverty rates in the UK
The latest annual poverty report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows the importance of affordable housing.
Stormont’s back – and everyone’s inbox is full
The Assembly’s return is a big deal and surely better than the past three years. However, the list of issues MLAs face is enormous. Scope looks at human rights in NI.
More than a good start
Sure Start is two decades old but still going strong. Scope takes a look at a long-running programme that has managed to stay fresh.
Reductive politics is on collision course with reality
It wasn’t just election week, it was Brexit election week. Or was it? And what about the Stormont talks? Voters are more subtle than politicians and we stand at a policy crossroads. Without fixes there could be enormous public anger.
Hunger is an issue this Christmas and New Year
Food banks, Universal Credit and holiday hunger are different issues, but all are interlinked. That relationship comes into sharper focus at this time of year.
Media failings make resuscitating Stormont harder
Local journalism didn’t bring down the Executive but its shortcomings perhaps greased the wheels of collapse and are helping to manage its ongoing non-existence.
Employment highs are obscuring a great malaise
The latest job market updates look great. Take a peek behind the figures, however, and the story is different.
Let’s talk about Shared Prosperity
Where is the consultation on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund? And, when it does come, what should a new infrastructure fund look like?
How is NI performing? (part three)
Our third and final article looking at how our public sector is doing, by its own measure.