To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent assessment he has made of the progress on the Independent Review of Education in Northern Ireland being undertaken by the Department of Education Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.
8 September 2021
The Independent Review of Education was an important commitment made in the New Decade, New Approach Agreement, to be taken forward by the Northern Ireland Executive. It presents a real opportunity to ensure that Northern Ireland’s education system works for all children and young people, and helps promote integration and reconciliation at its core.
The Government welcomes the establishment of the Review, the publication of its Terms of Reference and the completion of the recruitment process for the Panel. We hope this progress will continue and look forward to the Panel’s findings, which will be for the Northern Ireland Executive to consider and take forward.
The Government firmly believes that greater integration within Northern Ireland’s education system is an essential aspect of the reconciliation process in Northern Ireland. That is why, as part of the Stormont House and Fresh Start Agreements, the Government committed to providing up to £500 million of funding to support shared and integrated education projects. The £400 million New Deal for Northern Ireland will also support initiatives to enable children from different community backgrounds to be educated together.