§ Mr. Teddy Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will commission a study on the reasons why children in Northern Ireland secure, on average, more high grade passes in O and A-level examinations compared with children in the rest of the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.390W
§ Dr. Mawhinney
The examination performance of Northern Ireland children relative to the rest of the United Kingdom has already been the subject of academic study, which has served mainly to emphasise the complexity of the factors involved, which in turn makes the drawing of firm conclusions difficult. I do not, therefore, consider that any useful purpose would be served by commissioning further study.