Education Policy in Northern Ireland

See how we are representing parent views on education in Northern Ireland.

In Northern Ireland, we collaborate with a diverse range of policy partners including the Northern Ireland Executive at Stormont. Parents are at the heart of everything we do, including our policy work. 

To inform our work, parents across Northern Ireland are able to contribute through a range of polls, surveys and grassroots consultations. This evidence is then represented to policy-makers at all levels, so that parents and their views are considered by them, with the potential to directly inform changes to our education system.


When changes are proposed to education policy, either by the Northern Ireland Executive or by related bodies like the Education and Training Inspectorate, consultations are often published seeking the views of the people most likely to be impacted.

Parentkind regularly responds to consultations, using evidence gathered from those in a parenting role in Northern Ireland.

For information and Parentkind’s responses to consultations and news of our impact, please see below.

We responded to an inquiry into the causes of educational underachievement and suggested greater parental engagement as a cost-effective solution in tackling the entrenched problem.

The Department for Communities in Northern Ireland (NI) sought public opinion on reforming the current gambling laws, to see if there is an appetite to modernise them to allow for a more flexible approach. We responded because there is a section on lotteries that affects our member PTAs in NI. The feedback we gave to government was based on conversations we have with our PTAs when giving them guidance on licencing laws and advice on how they can operate in accordance with them. We presented the views of parents in PTAs to the Department for their consideration. The consultation closed on 21st February 2020.

Closed Tuesday 15th October 2019. A Newcomer pupil’ is a pupil who speaks a different language at home than the one used in their school, and who needs extra help to understand the language used in their school. In the region of 16,000 pupils are currently classed as Newcomer pupils which is 4.4% of the school population. See the public consultation on Supporting Newcomer Pupils.

Closed: March 2019. The Department of Education (DE) in Northern Ireland launched a survey to gather parental opinion as they reviewed the home to school transport policy. They are looking into how it is funded and how policy-makers might make changes to it in the near future. This will have an effect on the day-to-day lives of parents and the children who currently avail of free transport to and from school. Read more about the consultation here.