Research Papers 2021

Synopsis: Below you will find details of Research Publications which have been prepared by the Research and Information Service (RaISe) for the Education Committee in 2021.

School Uniforms: Cost, Gender and Behavioural Considerations

- Date: 02/07/2021

The school uniform is a long-contested topic in education circles. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of some of the arguments put forward regarding the advantages and disadvantages of school uniforms and any evidence to support those arguments.

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Physical Activity and the Wellbeing of Children and Young People

- Date: 03/06/2021

The purpose of this paper is to inform the Education Committee’s understanding of the value of physical activity (PA) and sport on children and young people’s physical health and emotional well-being. The paper will begin by exploring the role of regular PA in safeguarding children’s physical and mental health, now and in their future. The paper will also explore the progressive decline in physical activity among NI Youth. It will examine efforts to support schools in increasing the participation of children and young people in PE in Northern Ireland, including the role of the NI Curriculum Sports Programme. The paper will finish by exploring similar initiatives in other jurisdictions in the UK and the factors that support their effective delivery.

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School Starting Age: Policy and Practice in the UK

- Date: 27/05/2021

This briefing paper provides an overview of the main arguments relating to school starting age, views on appropriate education provision at ages four-five, the potential adverse outcomes for summer born children who start school early and the various policy options relating to school starting age and deferral across the UK.

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Restraint and Seclusion of Children with Additional Needs in Schools

- Date: 26/02/2021

This briefing paper discusses the use of restraint and seclusion in schools in the UK, specifically with children and young people who have additional needs. It explores the relationship between challenging behaviour and the use of restrictive practices, as well as the impact that the use of such practices have on children, their families and education staff. The paper examines the use of restrictive practices and their implications for children's human rights as well as presenting an overview of policies and actions being introduced across the UK aimed at reducing their use. Finally, the paper provides a brief overview of positive behaviour support (PBS) strategies as an alternative approach to managing challenging behaviour with restraint and seclusion used only as a last resort option.

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Children’s Rights and Educational Policy in Northern Ireland: Implementation of the UNCRC

- Date: 26/02/2021

The UK’s 6th periodic reporting cycle to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is underway. In February 2021, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is expected to send the UK Government a request for specific information, known as a ‘List of Issues Prior to Reporting’ (LOIPR). The list asks the UK government and its devolved administrations to detail measures and developments relating to its implementation of the UNCRC. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the predominant issues currently impacting on a child’s right to education in Northern Ireland (NI). It will provide an overview of the UNCRC including how it is implemented and monitored across the UK. The paper will also focus on the concerns and recommendations raised by the CRC in relation to education in its previous round of reporting in 2016, progress made by the NI government on the relevant issues, as well as commentary by key stakeholders in NI.

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