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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.
How is NI performing? (Part two)
The second in our trio of articles taking an accessible look at how our public sector is doing, by its own measure.
How is Northern Ireland performing? (part one)
The Executive Office recently published its year-end report looking at progress against outcomes in the draft Programme for Government. Scope takes a look at the bottom line.
Autism petition approaches 10,000 signatures
Autism NI is calling for mandatory autism training for all teachers in Northern Ireland –organising a petition they will present at Stormont next month. Scope speaks with CEO Kerry Boyd.
Poverty is bad for you
Northern Ireland has startling gaps in life expectancy between rich and poor areas. Scope looks at the latest figures from the Department of Health.
What can’t we afford? How economic inequality is about more than paying bills
If wealth, rather than ability, drives educational achievement, we have to think hard about how we structure society to compensate for this.
Global goals lack local focus
The UN Sustainable Development Goals are nearly four years old. High-level strategies for the world (or 193 UN member nations) to build a “better and more sustainable future”. Too few people know what they are.
If you want to improve the benefits system, speak up
The IFS says Universal Credit will lower the incomes of millions of people and that the welfare reform “hits the persistently poor the hardest on average.” But change is possible.
Childcare provision is good but there are problems with affordability and sustainability
Last month, Employers for Childcare released their ninth annual NI Childcare Cost Survey. The burden on families is enormous - but providers are also under huge strain. Reform (financial assistance and restructuring) is required.
Quality of life is easy to understand but difficult to pin down
Reform is possible in NI, even without a government. Officials last week published a paper seeking to understand what is meant by “quality of life” – with the ultimate aim of improving the lot of adults and children with disabilities.
Popular input makes better policy
People love the NHS and attempts at reform are often met with public resistance. However, its adaptability has been one of its greatest strengths. The response to the hyponatraemia inquiry highlights this.
Human Rights in NI – sleepwalking towards disaster
The Human Rights Commission published its Annual Statement this week. We have plenty of problems, too few solutions, and the problems stemming from our lack of a government only ever grow in number.
Christmas is the busiest time of year for foodbanks
Another Christmas, another busy month for foodbanks. For most people, they are an abstract concept – that’s because most people never have to use them.