Alliance Education spokesperson Trevor Lunn has said more must be done to raise standards in the education sector after a new report revealed inequalities had become worse since 2007.
The report, released on Tuesday by the Equality Commission, said among other findings that Protestants had consistently lower levels of attainment than Catholics at GCSE and A-Level, with the gap widening; ethnic minority school leavers were twice as likely to enter unemployment as white counterparts and males had persistently lower levels of attainment than females throughout primary and post-primary education.
Mr Lunn said many perceived inequalities had been confirmed by the report.
“It is paramount we do more to tackle the educational underachievement of pupils from all sections of our community.”
The Lagan Valley representative continued, “The report confirmed pupils entitled to free school meals from all backgrounds are seriously underachieving.”
“The causes of Protestant boys from poorer backgrounds not performing as well at school must be looked at and challenged – from their poor representation by unionist politicians supporting selection tests to the role of paramilitaries in turning young males away from education.
“The fact in 2015 educational underachievement directly correlates with social poverty is disgraceful.
“It is paramount all parties and departments work together to remove the barriers and ensure a good education is the norm, not the exception.”