Category Archives: Politics

Scottish independence: economic implications

Dr Gary Gillespie, Chief Economic Adviser to the Scottish Government, summarised its economic position as the referendum approaches. The devolution framework for Scotland shows that a high degree of public expenditure (60...

John O’Dowd: excellence and equality

Education Minister John O’Dowd outlines his priorities for schools and the need for families and communities to value education more highly. In May 2011, I had the honour of being appointed Minister...

Policy innovations

agendaNi considers local educational policies which have learnt from the successes of other countries and regions. Northern Ireland parties tend to fight traditional battles over education at election time but, in recent...

Reform of teacher training still on track

Michael McKernan summarises Stephen Farry’s plans to integrate teacher training. It was Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry himself who previously remarked: “People think it is bizarre that at this stage in...

ESA update

Peter Cheney analyses the continued delay in setting up the Education and Skills Authority. Almost eight years after the Education and Skills Authority (ESA) was proposed, its preparations are being held up...

The Dickson Plan dispute

A radical shake-up of Craigavon’s Dickson Plan could have wider implications, Michael McKernan writes. Although he denies that they are his proposals – he points out that they are the views of...

Education Committee: a progress report

A less combative atmosphere has allowed the Education Committee to make more progress since the 2011 election. agendaNi profiles its work. Education remains one of the more contentious issues on Stormont agenda...

Evolution not revolution

Michael McKernan contrasts the steady local approach to GCSE reform with Michael Gove’s radical changes. An interesting backdrop to the ongoing development of education policy in Northern Ireland is the differing perspective...

Economic Pact capital plans

Northern Ireland receives favourable treatment in the Economic Pact but the shared campus plans are likely to exceed their budget. In one of the first steps to implement the Downing Street Economic...

Environment policy

A summary of the Assembly parties’ main manifesto commitments on the natural environment, including climate change and waste management. SDLP Minister: Mark H Durkan MLA Assembly Private Secretary: Karen McKevitt MLA Spokeswoman:...