While it is frequently claimed that Northern Ireland has an excellent schools system, it is clear that it is also a divided system. That division is not just based on religion, but also whether a pupil attends a grammar or a non-selective school, which is related to the wealth of the parents. The system clearly separates children, despite the need of our society to come together to heal division.
This week’s Holywell Trust Forward Together podcast hears from Northern Ireland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, Koulla Yiasouma, on how we repair the damage of that division. The conversation considers pre-school childcare, the age at which children should start school and the relationship between parental wealth and the system of selection. Koulla wants school reforms to make sufficient progress that all parents have the confidence to send their children to their local school.
What is Holywell Trust Conversations?
Gerard Deane and Paul Gosling host a new series of podcasts - explainers of some of the challenging issues that our society faces of promoting a wider, more inclusive and engaged conversation about how we make progress and further solidify peace and create a genuinely shared and integrated society in Northern Ireland. Holywell Trust is curating a discussion that is mutually respectful, forward focused and positive. The podcast considers the real challenges that Northern Ireland's society faces in the coming years and begins to arrive at practical and honest approaches to address these.