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Purvis report does not delve into real issue

Former PUP MLA Dawn Purvis states: "Report after report has highlighted the fact that, educationally, we fail too many of our children and a high proportion of those live in inner east Belfast and that the country's most dominant non-progressor group was working-class Protestant boys." (News, March 22)

It has long been recognised that there are big problems with under-achievement in our Belfast state secondary schools.

In this report, however, we have a rather skewed set of conclusions arrived at by self-appointed 'educationalist' Ms Purvis and her 'independent' team of teachers, academics and community activists.

Ms Purvis's report tends to over-play the 'victim' card on behalf of poor, deprived, working-class, Protestant boys. The report largely chooses to blame all and sundry for their academic performance.

All in all, this much-hyped report is very disappointing with nothing new. Where was the input from successful east Belfast headteacher Andy McMorran of Ashfield Boys? Surely the expertise of successful headteachers like Andy McMorran should be recognised and utilised by the Department of Education as a valuable resource in the fight to turn these 'shocking' levels of failure among east Belfast teens around.



From Belfast Telegraph