Closing the Gap – social deprivation and links to educational attainment

27 August 2019

Work in progress

We are currently undertaking work in order to produce this publication.  Details of when we aim to publish the finalised report are indicated below. 

Closing the Gap – social deprivation and links to educational attainment 

Work in progress

A broad range of factors contribute to educational attainment including school leadership, classroom teaching, and parental and community involvement.  However, research indicates that, at every stage of schooling, Northern Ireland’s poorest children are likely to do worse and make less progress than their better-off classmates.

For many years, the Department of Education (DE) has targeted funding to address the gap in educational attainment, with DE using a mix of Free School Meal Entitlement (FSME) and Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measures (NIMDM) as measures of social deprivation.  

Our study will examine whether DE ensures that funding provided to improve the educational attainment of children from socially deprived backgrounds is being monitored and evaluated effectively to achieve the required outcomes across early years, primary and post primary education. 

The study will focus on Sure Start and Targeting Social Need (TSN) funding, which account for over 80 per cent of the amount funded by DE aimed at addressing the performance gap. 

The report is scheduled for publication in spring 2020.