Indicators of Equality of Opportunity and Good Relations in Education
In 2009, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (the “Commission”) commissioned ‘The Equality Company’ to develop a framework of indicators and associated measures of equality of opportunity and good relations in education that might inform future policy interventions in this area. This framework sought to be capable of tracking progress against the goals outlined in Every Child an Equal Child (the Commission’s statement on key inequalities in education and strategy for intervention).
Using existing literature and best practice, supported by stakeholder views the contractors proposed 14 Recommended Indicators relevant to achieving the three overarching goals in Every Child an Equal Child. These were:
Theme 1, Access – Access to schools, Access to subjects, Access to facilities, Access to support;
Theme 2, Attainment – Public examinations, personal development and cultural awareness, Other achievements, Teacher and learner expectations, Employability;
Theme 3, Ethos (in schools) –Policies and Procedures, Pastoral care, Communication, Governance, Teacher development
The Contractor’s final Recommended Indicator Framework is a mix of measures – some of which can be measured now using current data sources; those which could be measured if data was collected and those which could be further considered as part of ongoing research / policy development.
The research can be downloaded as a full report or summary report;
Full Report - 215 pages (PDF version, 1.6mb) (WORD version, 393kb)
Summary Report - 62 pages (PDF version, 718kb) (WORD version, 119kb)
- The annual Fair Employment Monitoring Reports produced by the Equality Commission combine the workforce monitoring data supplied by registered employers in Northern Ireland and use sum-total figures to calculate aggregate proportions by Community background for the Monitored Workforce as a whole.
- This paper considers aggregated proportions of applications and appointments (across all monitored employers in Northern Ireland) by community background.
- Data is summed and presented (for two discrete periods 1991-2000 and 2001-2010 in total; and also individual year-on-year data) to consider trends across the public and private sectors, and in key sub-areas of the public sector.
- Overall, the broad pattern has been a decline in the Protestant proportion of applications and appointments over each period 1991-2000 and 2001-2010, though this is not true in all sub-sectors (for example, the Civil Service since 2001).
- In broad terms the analysis indicates that, when data for all employers is aggregated and considered as a sum total for each period 1991-2000 and 2001-2010, community proportions of appointments approximate the community proportions of applications, though with the total Protestant proportion of appointments over time more often below the Protestant proportion of applications. There are however some differences overall and also in year-on-year trends. Further details are provided in the report and in the appendices.
Inequalities in Education: Fact and Trends 1998-2008
Aim: To present the latest educational data relevant to the Equality Commission’s Statement on Key Inequalities in Northern Ireland, and to compare that to data from ten years previous.
Over the period 1998 and 2008, to present evidence of the differentials in the educational attainment within the areas of Community Background, Gender and Disability and for the specific groups of Children in Care and Traveller Children. (Other key groups identified in the Commission’s Statement on Key Inequalities were those from Black and Ethnic Minority communities and those identifying as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender. However, detailed quantitative data on educational attainment proved problematical to obtain for these groups, most likely due to small sample sizes).
When the different groups are compared, community background is the area where fewest differences exist in 2007/08. Amongst the population, the economically active from both communities hold very similar levels of highest education attainment. Amongst school leavers, there has been considerable improvement in the highest level of educational attainment of both communities, although this rate of improvement has been slightly greater for Roman Catholics than for Protestants. Thus, the gap between highest educational attainment of Protestant and Roman Catholic school leavers has widened.
Some differences are notable when looking at gender, particularly with regards to levels of highest educational attainment and subject choices within Further or Higher Education. Economically active females are more likely than males to hold a higher level of education attainment. In addition, while there has been considerable improvement in the highest level of educational attainment of both males and females school leavers, this improvement has been markedly more evident for females than for males. Thus, the gap between highest educational attainment of male and female school leavers has widened.
Those with / without a declared disability
There are still considerable differences in the highest educational attainment and in participation in Further or Higher Education between those with and without a declared disability. Economically active people without a declared disability remain more likely than those with a declared disability to hold a higher level of education attainment. In addition, while there has been considerable improvement in the highest level of educational attainment of economically active people with and without a declared disability, this improvement has been markedly more evident for those without a declared disability. With regards to participation in third-level education, while those with a declared disability remain under-represented at this level, an improvement has occurred in the proportion who are accessing institutes of Higher Education in Northern Ireland.
Over the aggregate period 2003/04-2007/08 there has been a noticeable gap between the highest education attainment and destinations of Irish Traveller and non-Traveller school leavers. The majority of Irish Travellers left school with no GCSEs, while the majority of non-Travellers left school with GCSE or higher qualifications. The most common intended non-employment destination for Irish Travellers leaving school was unemployment, while the most common intended destination for non-Travellers was Higher Education. Furthermore, in the aggregated time-period examined, zero percent of Irish Travellers indicated they intended to continue on to Higher Education.
Children in Care
It is evident that Care-leavers exit secondary education with lower educational attainment levels than all school leavers and have lower rates of going on to an educational destination. Little or no improvement in the educational attainment levels and non-employment destinations of Care-leavers leaving school occurred between 2001/02 and 2007/08. In comparison, there has been an improvement in the highest level of educational attainment of all school leavers, and in the proportion of all school leavers continuing on to third level education.
The Research and Evaluation Team of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland wrote this report. However, the report draws on key government data sources, namely the Labour Force Survey, the Qualifications and Destinations of School Leavers Survey, the Enrolments in Further Education dataset, the Enrolments in Higher Education dataset and the Northern Ireland Care Leavers Survey. We would like to thank all those who assisted us in collating this data.
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Aim: The report aims to inform employers (or interested parties) about wider compositional trends that, used alongside information on local labour availability, may inform their own considerations of fair participation in specific employment(s).
Objectives: To review stocks and flows into monitored employment in Northern Ireland, including data on employees, applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers. The full report presents an analysis of the community composition of employees, applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers in the overall monitored workforce as well as in the private and public sectors.
Research Update - a short 6 page summary highlighting key trends from the current Fair Employment Monitoring Report (summary version 67kb)
Full 2009 Report - summary trends in monitoring data: with breakdowns by public / private sectors; full time / part time, etc. (1.3Mb - Including appendices)
Additional tables sets- (not published as part of the full report
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Aim: To update understanding of the effect the economic downturn has had on the employment status and prospects of relevant groups across the nine equality grounds.
- To determine patterns in employment in relation to the nine equality grounds as identified in key documents, for example the Commission´s Statement on key inequalities.
- To determine which groups have been most likely to experience difficulties in accessing employment in Northern Ireland to date.
- To provide an insight into potential barriers and enablers to labour market participation (entry and retention) both during an economic downturn and during the subsequent recovery period. Consider any ground/group specific impacts and illustrate how these manifest themselves for the various groups;
- To establish the ground/group specific issues evident in Northern Ireland, and illustrate how difficulties are most likely to manifest themselves for these groups - considering, amongst others, employment patterns, occupational classifications and sectors/locations most affected.
- To identify emerging and ongoing issues for affected groups in Northern Ireland and to consider changing patterns, access to and security of employment for these groups both during the continuing economic downturn and moving into economic recovery.
Overall the recession has had a significant impact on employment in NI with declines in employment and increasing unemployment and inactivity. The extent to which these changes have impacted on groups according to equalities grounds has varied with some groups being more affected than others.
It was particularly apparent that young people have been affected by the current recession as reflected in the high levels of unemployment among this group. Although the declining employment rates of young people can perhaps to some degree be explained by students no longer working, it still remains that there has been an increase in the number of young people who are unemployed.
The research has also shown that although the employment prospects of many vulnerable groups has improved in recent years, there are still those who are in a disadvantaged position in the labour market (for example lone parents, people with disabilities, migrant workers and ex-offenders) and this research has highlighted that there is a possibility that the economic downturn may exacerbate their position by moving them further back in the ´employment queue´.
FULL REPORT - provides a detailed update on the effect of the economic downturn on the employment status and prospects of relevant groups across the nine equality grounds in Northern Ireland
RESEARCH UPDATE - a short 6 page summary highlighting key trends on Employment Inequalities in an Economic Downturn.
Contractor/Author: Employment Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University
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Aim: To establish available evidence on the nature and extent of trafficking of women, children and men in Northern Ireland focusing on transnational trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and exploited labour. The findings will be used to make recommendations for service provision, policy developments and legislative reform that increase the chances of trafficked people finding options for safety and support.
Objectives: To identify what data is available about human trafficking in Northern Ireland and how it is captured and quantified. To engage with law enforcement bodies and service providers to ascertain the nature and extend of trafficking and responses for protection or the provision services. To outline models of promising practice in other UK jurisdictions which provide options for safety and support for victims of trafficking and to make recommendations for further action in the areas of information, service provision, legislation and strategies.
There is a need for a wide scale consultation on how data should be collected, stored and made available for use. Statistics should be made available on a regular basis to enable appropriate service development and monitoring.
A coordinated multi-agency approach should be established for services for victims of trafficking to and from Northern Ireland. The Minister´s 2010 review of arrangements offers an opportunity to involve service providers, legal practitioners and NGOs providing support and advice.
Contractor/Author: Institute for Conflict Research
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Effectiveness of the Disability Duties: Research Report
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland has a statutory duty to prepare and publish a report on the effectiveness of the disability duties by 1 January 2010 (3 years after the implementation of the legislation).
To inform the Commission´s review report, independent research was contracted to evaluate the effectiveness of the disability duties, as defined by Section 49A of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended by Article 5 of the Disability Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 2006).Download the Research Reports:
Evaluating the effectiveness of the Disability Discrimination (NI) Order 2006 Duties:
- Research Summary PDF Version (220kb, 28 pages); Word Version (154kb, 30 pages)
- Research Summary Powerpoint Presentation PDF Version (116kb, 19 pages)
FULL RESEARCH REPORTS
- Methodology and Framework PDF Version (370kb, 112 pages); Word Version (1mb, 112 pages)
- Research Findings PDF Version (570kb, 215 pages); Word Version (2mb, 215 pages)
The Commission review report, derived from this research and the Commission´s own experience of implementing the duties is available for download HERE
REFERENCE: McIlwhan, R., Rogers, S., Bridge, S. (2009), Evaluating the Disability Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 Duties: Research Findings. Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. Belfast.
PUBLICATION DATE: Dec 2009
Fair Employment Monitoring Report No. 19
‘Monitoring Report No. 19 – A Profile of the Northern Ireland Workforce (Summary of Monitoring Returns 2008)’ sets out a broad picture of the community composition of the monitored Northern Ireland Workforce for 2008.
The report aims to inform employers (or interested parties) about wider compositional trends that, used alongside information on local labour availability, may inform their own considerations of fair participation in specific employment(s).
The full report presents an analysis of the community composition of employees, applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers in the overall monitored workforce as well as in the private and public sectors.
Click on the links below to access the full report, summary version and additional tables.
Research Update - a short 6 page summary highlighting key trends from the current Fair Employment Monitoring Report (summary version 64kb)
Full 2008 Report - summary trends in monitoring data: with breakdowns by public / private sectors; full time / part time, etc. (3.42Mb - Including appendices)
Additional tables set1 - (not published as part of the full report)
Additional tables set2 - (not published as part of the full report)
PUBLICATION DATE: 10 December 2009
Equality Awareness Survey 2008
In July 2008, the Commission appointed Social and Market Research (SMR) to carry out the fieldwork for a survey on equality-related issues in Northern Ireland. The survey was subsequently written up and completed by Commission staff.
The primary aim of the survey was to establish current awareness of equality-related issues amongst the general public in Northern Ireland and to monitor change since 2005. The associated objectives were:
- to identify the level of current awareness of anti-discrimination legislation, and awareness of the Commission and its role;
- to capture attitudes towards equality issues, including attitudes towards key equality groupings;
- to probe perceptions and personal experience of discrimination; and
- to acquire baseline data on the level of public confidence in the Commission and its work.
PUBLICATION DATE: 24 June 2009
Fair Employment Monitoring Report No. 18
The Monitoring Report, which has been published annually by the Equality Commission and Fair Employment Commission (FEC) since 1991, presents a profile of the monitored Northern Ireland Workforce for 2007.
In addition to providing an overview of the monitored workforce, the Report also contains an analysis of the community composition of applicants, appointees, employees, promotees and leavers in both the public and private sectors.
Before you download the Fair Employment Monitoring Report; Appendices or Summary Update, we´d be grateful if could answer just TWO SHORT QUESTIONS about the type of information you might be most interested in - please click here.
Click on the links below to access the full report and summary version.
Research Update - a short 8 page sumary highlighting key trends from the current Fair Employment Monitoring Report (65kb)
Full Report - summary trends in monitoring data: with breakdowns by public / private sectors; full time / part time, etc. (without appendices, 420kb)
Appendices - details on the employment composition of each monitored employer (320kb)
Full Report + Appendices - the full report and appendices in one download (700kb)
PUBLICATION DATE: 16 December 2008
Awareness of the Age Regulations and attitudes of the general public in Northern Ireland towards age-related issues
In March 2007, the Equality Commission appointed Social and Market Research (SMR) to conduct a survey of the general public in Northern Ireland regarding age-related issues and attitudes. This research report presents the findings of this survey, focusing on: knowledge of the Equality Employment (Age) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006; attitudes towards age related issues; and personal experience of age related discrimination.
PUBLICATION DATE: 1 July 2008
Educational Migration and Non-return in Northern Ireland: A report prepared for the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland by Professor Ronald McQuaid and Dr Emma Hollywood, Employment Research Institute, Napier University, Edinburgh
In 2006, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland appointed Professor Ronald McQuaid and Dr Emma Hollywood from the Employment Research Institute at Napier University, Edinburgh to compile an expert paper to summarise available data and research on educational migration and non-return in Northern Ireland. The project’s primary aim was to understand the key patterns and drivers of educational migration and non-return and the impact of this on the community composition of the pool of the qualified labour available to employers in Northern Ireland.
PUBLICATION DATE: 07 May 2008
Enabling Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Individuals to Access their Rights under Equality Law: A report prepared for the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and the Equality Authority by Judy Walsh, Catherine Conlon, Barry Fitzpatrick and Ulf Hansson
In 2006 the Equality Commission and Equality Authority appointed Judy Walsh (School of Social Justice, UCD), Catherine Conlon (School of Social Justice, UCD), Barry Fitzpatrick (Barry Fitzpatrick Consulting) and Ulf Hansson (Institute of Conflict Research) to conduct research on access to rights on the sexual orientation ground. The project’s primary aim was to identify strategies whereby specialised equality bodies can enable lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people to secure their rights under equality law.
PUBLICATION DATE: 20 November 2007Please click on the links below to access other research reports.