Community activists and education policy

21 Sep 2011     Last updated: 20 Jun 2014

Following the Call to Action report produced by a working group led by Dawn Purvis, NICVA hosted an event to explore the issue of educational disadvantage and discuss how the voluntary and community sector can help increase educational eq

For too long, too many of our children and young people have been falling through the gaps, failed by an education system which should be providing them with life skills and preparing them for the workplace but which instead often labels them as ‘failures’ and leaves them with little hope or capacity for work or further education. 

Speaking after the event, NICVA's Head of Public Affairs, Lisa McElherron said:

“We are delighted with both the turn out and level of engagement today. I see lots of potential for future dialogue and more importantly action on this issue.  With ‘A Call to Action’ highlighting that over 80% of factors impacting on a child’s education come outside of the classroom, NICVA sees the potential for the voluntary and community sector to be leaders and advocates for change in the field of education.  

"The appetite for continued community involvement and the fresh ideas presented were inspiring and NICVA looks forward to continued action on this issue.”

The event brought together 75 people from across the voluntary and community sector and was a useful, engaging and motivating discussion. 

Both Dawn Purvis and working group Chair Mark Langhammer addressed the audience on the findings and recommendations of their report, however most time was spent in discussion groups on issues covering:

  • community involvement
  • parental responsibility and
  • providing leadership.

Educational reform in the future

NICVA hopes this is the first in a series of events designed to place the voluntary and community sector at the centre of the discussion on educational reform.

If you'd like to register an interest in being involved in any future seminars or discussions on educational disadvantage and how the sector can be involved, please get in touch by email at [email protected]

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