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It’s not to late to fix childcare in Northern Ireland
The local childcare system fails both parents and providers, with financial pressures approaching breaking point. These failures also hurt the economy. However, there is still time to build something better.
Why NI’s entire approach to school uniforms should change
Northern Ireland has no limit for the prices of its school uniforms. Costs are far beyond what parents consider reasonable, and should be reduced. A complete reform of what children wear should also be considered.
Disability discrimination against children is “institutionalised” within NI’s education system
The Education Authority has acknowledged failures but it will have to prove that any reforms are genuine.
Not all young people are Digital Natives
Digital exclusion might not effect a huge proportion of children – albeit a lack of data makes it hard to be sure – but those who are excluded are at a massive disadvantage.
Relationships and Sexuality Education should be standardised, comprehensive, more inclusive – and mandatory
Northern Ireland gives educators a lot of leeway on RSE. Some local organisations say the system needs to be tightened to avoid failing children.
Transfer tests are more in the spotlight than ever
The post-primary transfer debacle appears finally to be over. What could have been a Covid-19 issue has become something more, thanks in large part to the Education Minister.
Holiday camps can tackle holiday hunger and be educational – but there is room to improve
Feeding hungry children should be uncontroversial. Combining this with activities to develop skills and knowledge sounds like a good idea – and work involving Children in NI shows promise.
Human Rights and Covid-19
The NI Human Rights Commissioner’s latest Annual Statement looks at 2020, the pandemic, and any progress – or not – in the wider rights picture for NI, where children appear to be second-class citizens.
Transfer tests headed for crunch time
Calls to cancel this year’s post-primary transfer tests continue to mount – and the list of barriers to a fair testing process is growing. The Education Minister is gambling on everything going smoothly.
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.
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.
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.