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O’Dowd welcomes report on literacy and numeracy achievement

Education Minister, John ODowd, today welcomed the publication of a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General which assessed progress in improving literacy and numeracy achievement in schools here.
Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The report highlights the recent excellent performance of primary school pupils in international surveys of reading and maths. It points out the importance of literacy and numeracy skills in improving the life chances of our young people and helping them to access further and higher education and fulfilling employment.

The report acknowledges the improvement in the percentage of young people leaving school with at least five good GCSEs or equivalent, including GCSEs at A*-C in English and maths. It also acknowledges, however, the attainment gap that continues to persist among our most and least disadvantaged school leavers.

Speaking, following the report’s publication, the Education Minister said: “This report is an important reminder that, while progress has been made and while we have much to celebrate, there remains considerable work to be done to ensure that all of our young people achieve to their full potential. I welcome the progress but there is no room for complacency. The report confirms that our policies are on the right track and I am determined to ensure that we continue to take action, from the early years through to school leaving age, to support our children and young people on their learning journeys.”

The Minister also pointed to the excellent practice that the report identified in many local schools that serve our most disadvantaged communities. He said: “This report highlights what we already knew from inspection and other evidence: that there is already excellent practice in so many of our schools. Through high quality teaching and learning; effective leadership; and good links with parents and communities they are already making a difference to children’s lives. Our challenge is to become more effective at embedding and sharing this good practice across all schools for the benefit of all our young people.”

The report will now be considered by the Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee.

Notes to editors:

  1. The Department of Education has launched a new ‘Education Works’ advertising campaign. The campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect website for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  2. View photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection.
  3. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 99 715 440, and your call will be returned.