Who achieves and why? Using data to understand inequalities in education outcomes
27 September 2021
In 2020, ADR Northern Ireland supported access to the first linked administrative dataset for education in Northern Ireland, for research by Dr Erin Early. The data used in Dr Early’s research, linked the 2011 Census, School Leavers Survey and School Census for the first time to examine post-primary attainment trends (specifically at GCSE) in Northern Ireland.
The research examined the individual and collective influences of a pupil's gender, socio-economic status, religious affiliation and attended school type on GCSE attainment outcomes. The administrative data provided a unique opportunity to examine multiple individual, household and school-level factors that influence educational attainment, some of which were not previously available for educational research in Northern Ireland.
Through regular engagement with officials from the Northern Ireland Department of Education, Dr Early was invited to submit evidence to the Expert Panel on Educational Underachievement, which was set up in July 2020 by then Education Minister Peter Weir Dr Early prepared a policy and research brief for the panel.
Dr Early has since presented her work at a wide variety of regional and national seminars, and continues to do so.