Education in Northern Ireland

Attainment has increased over recent years. Those from poorer backgrounds are still much less likely to achieve five or more A*–C grades at GCSE (including maths and English).

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Link to source: Department of Education, Northern Ireland

Pupils from poorer backgrounds in Northern Ireland have much lower attainment on average than those from better-off backgrounds.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to observe any long-term trends in the attainment gap as results for pupils who are eligible for free school meals are only available from 2013 and includes a change in the eligibility for free-school meals. However, the data available shows that the attainment gap has reduced from 21% in 2015 to 19% in 2019.