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O’Dowd discusses the rights of the child with United Nations representative

Education Minister John ODowd has discussed a range of education issues with Mr Jean Zermatten, Chairperson of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Minister used the opportunity to discuss progress the Department of Education has made against actions detailed in the Committee’s 2008 Concluding Observations.

Mr O’Dowd said: “Mr Zermatten is currently undertaking a two day visit to meet with decision makers, children and young people across the north. I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with him and discuss the work we are doing here.

“During our discussions I explained to Mr Zermatten the extensive work being done to break the link between social disadvantage and educational underachievement. I detailed the inter-linked set of policies we have in place designed to improve educational outcomes for young people and to address the root causes preventing some young people from fulfilling their potential.

“I also took the opportunity to discuss progress by my Department regarding the 2008 concluding observations of the UNCRC. One of the recommendations of that report called on DE to ‘bring an end to a two tier culture, by abolishing the 11+ Transfer Test’. While I confirmed that my Department no longer sponsors a state test, I conveyed my regret that some schools still choose to ignore international best practice, including the United Nations report.

“I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with Mr Zermatten and I committed to continuing the work we are engaged in to secure equality of opportunity across our education system, to ensure all children can get the most out of their time at school.”

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.