Northern Ireland

Education 'zone' proposed for Shankill area of Belfast

The Shankill Road
Image caption The Shankill area of Belfast has the worst record of educational attainment across all council wards, but a new initiative plans a 20-year programme to tackle the problems

A 20-year plan has been proposed to improve education in the area with the worst attainment record in Belfast.

The proposal is for a programme to create an educational zone for children and young people in the Shankill area.

"Wraparound" support would bring together many government departments to work together in the long-term and improve the prospects of young people.

The aim is to support not only children but also parents to help them succeed.

The plan was discussed at a conference at a community centre in the Shankill area on Tuesday.

Jackie Redpath of the Greater Shankill Partnership said there has been "initiative piled on initiative" but they have been too short-term.

His plan is for a zone that tackles all areas of young people's lives and that lasts for a generation.

Mr Redpath said: "This problem dates back 40 years and it is not going to be solved in one year."