Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Karen Mullan MLA has welcomed the latest statistics showing an increase on the number of students achieving at least 5 GCSEs and 3 A levels.
“The figures show that 70% of students achieved five GCSEs at A*-C including English and Maths,” the Foyle MLA said.
“The performance of students from the most disadvantaged areas has also improved with free school meal entitled school leavers achieving at least five GCSEs at grades A* – C or equivalent including GCSE English and Maths, this is up from 44.8% in 2015/16 to 47.5% in 2016/17.
“Clearly, young people are benefitting from the focus made by previous Sinn Féin education ministers to ensure equality is at the forefront of the education system.
“The ongoing reduction in the attainment gap within our education system is crucial to improving the equality of education for our children. We must also ensure that all children are counted within the figures.
“Despite the positivity of these statistics it is still incumbent on us to persistently address disadvantage and inequality within education.
“This is a challenge that requires co-operation and innovation.
“The research has shown, that in schools where there is good leadership, where teachers understand the challenges experienced by families and communities, where there is good community infrastructure and where schools, communities and families are connected, we see higher educational attainment results.”