Northern Ireland Election 2016

NI election issues guide: Education

Northern Ireland goes to the polls on 5 May to elect a new assembly. Browse the parties' key education priorities below:

  • A minimum target of 20% of children being educated in integrated schools and 40% in mixed schools within the next 10 years and legislation to meet this
  • Investing in programmes to tackle poor levels of literacy and numeracy, starting with those schools with the highest need
  • Fully deliver the entitlement framework to ensure that students have full access to a range and mix of learning and development options
  • Ensuring that pupils with special educational needs can access a clear and legally-binding process for specified provisions for the pupil
  • Support shared education and continue working towards a single education system
  • Allow schools to directly control finance and end the discrimination on annual budgetary control faced by special educational needs schools - place them in the same position as mainstream schools
  • Support the abolition of the Catholic teaching training certificate and an end to Article 71 exemption for teaching from fair employment as well as a fairer and better funding formula for schools
  • Maintain university fees at a level that will keep university places affordable and allow access to everyone in our society
  • Ensure that the Children's Services Cooperation Act 2015, as brought forward by Steven Agnew, is fully implemented
  • Ensure that all children have access to an integrated education throughout their academic careers
  • Ensure that learning is child-centred rather than system-centred
  • Oppose plans to raise undergraduate tuition fees further
  • Promote a diverse, shared education system
  • End academic selection, which reinforces social disadvantage
  • Maintain affordability of student fees
  • Protect part-time higher education, which is essential for people with work and family commitments
  • Reverse cuts to university places and reduce student fees ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to access higher education
  • Train more young people in skills such as information and communications technology and specifically coding. Establish a digital technology and coding academy
  • We do not support academic selection at 11, but the current situation cannot continue. We'll establish a cross-party commission to explore future transfer options, to report within a year
  • We cannot continue to educate children apart. 'Shared education' is not sufficient. Integration means children wearing the same uniform, taught by the same teachers in the same classroom
  • There must be no funding hierarchy for schools. Northern Ireland must value all its children, but to do so we must equally facilitate the academic potential of some and the different talents of others. Choice, not prescription, is our guide
  • TUV would reverse the removal of the possibility of pupils in Northern Ireland availing of GCSEs offered by British examination boards
  • Modern languages have been neglected. TUV wants to make it compulsory that GCSE pupils take at least one modern language and that they be a compulsory part of the Key Stage 2 curriculum
  • A report by the Equality Commission published in October last year found "Protestants persistently have lower levels of attainment than Catholics at GCSE and A 'level". Focused action is needed to address this
  • Work toward the goal of an administratively unified education system in Northern Ireland
  • Lower and take down barriers between sectors with removal of teacher exception in fair employment law as first step
  • Review ownership, finance and management of entire schools estate
  • Mainstream funding for proven schemes targeting underachievement
  • Stop Sinn Féin and the executive destroying what was once rated a world-best education system
  • Provide an education system that works for every child irrespective of their background or academic background
  • Contest plans to develop mega-size school campus sites and prevent any change in the status of our grammar schools
  • Demand a new education vision built around parent choice, teachers' input and pupils' benefits leading toward employment in the future for all school leavers

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Key priorities

Law and order

Local government

Sports and arts



Parties listed alphabetically