The DUP wants to bring stability to the education sector after four years of chaos in the Department.


We would seek to:

  • Pursue the best education outcomes for young people in the Province
  • Produce a comprehensive long-term plan for the education sector including a roadmap to create a single education system
  • Introduce an Individual Education Plan for every pupil based on a simplified Pupil Profile
  • Legislate to implement a Special Educational Needs strategy after overhaul of the outgoing Minister’s proposals
  • Review the Revised Curriculum with a view to giving principals and teachers more freedom to adapt their offering to suit the pupils’ particular circumstances
  • Conduct a value for money review of the Autism Centre at Middletown
  • The Entitlement Framework to be considered aspirational rather than compulsory
  • Assist unemployed teachers to take training modules permitting them to attain experience in the preschool sector or similarly in reading recovery schemes until they obtain a teaching post
  • Ensure access to youth services particularly for disadvantaged young people
  • Produce a comprehensive, cross-Departmental youth strategy


  • Enhance spending on foundation years provision
  • Introduce a Foundation Years Bill
  • Integrate and implement the Childcare and Early Years strategies
  • Identify and disseminate best practice to promote quality across the entire early years workforce
  • Improve the delivery of early years services through enhancing the qualifications of staff
  • Continue the one year funded preschool provision available to all children, and work towards delivering universal affordable childcare
  • Strategic approach to co-ordinated provision of family and parent support services


  • Work towards creating a single education system
  • Establish a Commission harnessing international expertise to advise on a strategy for enhancing sharing and integration within our education system
  • Establish schools as shared spaces
  • Promote sharing of resources and assets between schools
  • Give consideration to weighting funding towards Area Learning Communities that demonstrate cross-sectoral work
  • Deepen the inclusive nature of area based planning ensuring it is citizen based rather than focused on organisations
  • Require school development proposals to demonstrate that options for sharing have been fully explored
  • Encourage stronger collaboration between the different teacher training institutions with the aim of consolidating into a single teacher training system
  • Remove the exemption currently provided within the Fair Employment and Treatment Order for teacher recruitment
  • Remove legislation which currently advantages specific education sectors over others


  • Rationalise immediately the five Education Boards into one, followed quickly by a single body subsuming the functions, assets and liabilities of Education Boards, the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools, Staff Commission and Youth Council
  • Bring teacher recruitment exemptions from fair employment legislation to an end when a single employing authority is established
  • Preserve the legislative entitlement of the Transferor Representative Council to membership of the ownership body for controlled schools
  • Scrap plans for an Education Advisory Forum and multiple costly sectoral support bodies, with each existing sector represented on the new single body on the same basis as the Transferors


  • Support academic selection, matching pupils to the most appropriate post-primary school for their individual needs
  • Preserve and promote grammar schools, with Boards of Governors free to determine admissions criteria
  • Work to deliver a single robust form of assessment for post-primary transfer
  • Ensure attractive vocational opportunities for those who do not wish to pursue an academic path
  • Seek to re-image the post-primary sector emphasising parity of esteem amongst all schools


  • Develop a strategy to assist Protestant working class boys who tend tohave the lowest level of achievement, addressing issues such as aspiration, parental involvement and the value placed on education
  • Promote education ambassadors and role models in areas of educational underachievement
  • Tackle disparity between outcomes from maintained and controlled non-selective schools
  • Reduce the percentage of pupils leaving school with no qualifications
  • Support alternative measures of social deprivation rather than the Free School Meals indicator
  • Increase the focus on literacy and numeracy at primary level
  • Encourage more schemes involving volunteers to help disadvantaged children with literacy
  • Support extended schools programmes
  • Ensure additional funding through the Social Investment Fund will be used to increase and expand interventions to tackle this key community challenge


  • Continue to oppose any rise in student fees beyond the routine year-on-year inflationary uplifts
  • Seek to have the cap on student numbers in Northern Ireland removed
  • Develop and implement a Further and Higher Education strategy
  • Increase commercialisation of intellectual property from Northern Ireland’s university research base
  • Assist in the formation of a business school locally linked to a U.S. institution
  • Seek to create a specialist Technology Institute
  • As occurs in Germany, explore funding partnerships with business where there is mutual interest in providing courses which will address identified key skills deficits
  • Seek to improve the proportion of skilled craftsmen and technicians that Northern Ireland produces relative to mainland European nations
  • Promote the skills required to compete in the global marketplace
  • Improve opportunities for adults to enhance numeracy, literacy and ICT skills
  • Increase the proportion of working age population with qualifications
  • Break the cycle of multiple generations in unemployment
  • Increase the numbers studying STEM subjects
  • Offer student loan relief for individuals who commit to working in the Province for ten years
  • Continue offering scholarships to high-achieving students remaining in Northern Ireland
  • Seek to introduce a graduate home loan scheme for first time buyers with a degree in subjects crucial to improving our economy
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