Prof Ruth Leitch (QUB): This presentation presents the findings of the ‘ILiAD’ research study (Investigating Links in Achievement and Deprivation), a 3-year study funded by the Office of First Minister and the deputy First Minister, which will finish in March 2015. The study aims to understand the reasons for 2 differential educational achievement within and between deprived areas in Northern Ireland. Previous studies have concluded that there is a positive correlation between deprivation and underachievement. However, some areas of high multiple deprivation in Northern Ireland have high levels of GCSE attainment, whereas other less deprived areas have much lower levels of GCSE attainment. The study was conceptualised through a social capital perspective, which centralises the connections within and between individuals and social networks in a community as a valuable resource for educational achievement. It was designed as a multi-level case study analysis of seven Ward areas, selected on the basis of religious composition, measures of multiple deprivation and differentials in educational achievement. The analysis combines a statistical mapping of factors with qualitative, in-depth data interpretation to provide deeper understandings of the dynamics and contributory factors within and between the case study sites. The presentation outlines findings and recommendations that aim to both increase understanding about these anomalies and inform policy development and strategic planning regarding educational performance.
This seminar took place on 5th November 2014.