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Do far more young people in Northern Ireland have no qualifications, compared with peers in England?
23 November 2022

CLAIM: Based on figures from 2015, an average of 6.3% of young people across the nine regions of England had no qualifications - compared with 10.4% of those in NI.

Rating

ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

This statistic is accurate, based on analysis from a recent research paper. However, its use lacks some context – in particular, about NI’s “brain drain”.

Articles

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Education

Have the courts said NI schools are discriminatory, and ordered them to stop indoctrinating pupils into Christianity?
21 September 2022

CLAIM: The High Court has ruled that NI schools’ exclusive focus on Christianity is discriminatory, and said they should teach about other religions as well as Christianity, and should not indoctrinate children.

Rating

INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

The High Court found that the core curriculum for RE lacks objectivity and promotes Christianity, in breach of human rights However, the Court made no

Education

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Elections

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Health

Are children entitled to free school meals 29 percentage points less likely than their peers to get good GCSEs? Has this attainment gap barely closed in over a decade?
21 April 2022

CLAIM: Children in Northern Ireland who are entitled to free school meals (FSME) are 29 percentage points less likely to get 5+ GCSEs at A*-C, including English and maths, than those who aren’t FSME, based on results for 2018-19. This attainment gap has only shrunk by three percentage points (pp) since 2005-06

Rating

ACCURATE

Data shows that in 2018-2019, 49.5% of FSME school leavers had at least five GCSEs including English and maths, compared to 78.5% of their non-FSME

Education

Does Northern Ireland spend least per pupil?
28 October 2021

CLAIM: Northern Ireland spends less on each school pupil’s education than any other part of the UK.

Rating

ACCURATE

Spending on schools per head of population in Northern Ireland is similar to England, Scotland, and Wales. However, Northern Ireland’s comparatively large school age population

Economy

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Education

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Health

Is Northern Ireland one of the most locked-down places in the world?
24 February 2021

CLAIM: Northern Ireland is one of the most “locked-down” places in the world.

Rating

ACCURATE

According to a “Government Stringency Index”, the UK has one of the strictest lockdown policies in the world, but the Northern Ireland Executive’s response is

Economy

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Education

Are 95% or 98% of all households in the Holylands area of Belfast HMOs?
9 October 2020

CLAIM: About 95% or 98% of all households in the Holylands area of Belfast are HMOs.

Rating

INACCURATE

This claim is inaccurate. FactCheckNI has estimated that 45% of properties in the Holylands are licensed as HMOs, and Belfast City Council report a figure

Education

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Law

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Peace

Are there more Orangemen than fluent Irish speakers?
10 January 2020

CLAIM: There are more Orangemen than fluent Irish speakers in Northern Ireland.

Rating

UNSUBSTANTIATED

The 2017-18 Continuous Household Survey indicates there are an estimated 35,955 persons with conversational fluency of Irish, and the current Grand Secretary of the Orange

Education

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Elections

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Health

Is Northern Ireland without funded childcare provision?
10 December 2019

CLAIM: Northern Ireland remains the only UK jurisdiction without funded childcare provision.

Rating

INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

The Northern Ireland Government funds the provision of pre-school education, which in the rest of the UK, Ireland, and wider Europe is defined as “Early

Economy

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Education

Are there 40,000 third-level students in the northwest of Ireland?
21 November 2019

CLAIM: There are 40,000 third-level students in northwest Ireland, with 7,000 graduates annually ready for employment.

Rating

INACCURATE

Available data shows 9,370 third-level students in northwest Ireland, with approximately 3,300 graduates a year in the region. The Ireland Northwest Trade & Investment mission

Education

Derry/Londonderry only city without its own university?
31 July 2019

CLAIM: Derry/Londonderry is the only city of its prominence in the UK that does not have its own higher education institution, according to Lord Adonis.

Rating

INACCURATE

There are several other urban areas in the UK that do not have a higher education institution headquartered in their locale (for example Darlington, Southport,

Education

Only one UK member of Facebook’s fact checking programme?
31 July 2019

CLAIM: The Guardian claimed that journalism charity Full Fact is “the only UK member of” Facebook’s fact-checking programme.

Rating

INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

FactCheckNI is another UK member of Facebook’s third party fact checking programme. The Guardian promptly corrected its article. In an article published on Tuesday, 30

Education

1 in 5 school staff assaulted weekly?
17 July 2019

CLAIM: One in five school staff in Northern Ireland are assaulted at least once a week.

Rating

INACCURATE

The survey data was misinterpreted by ICTU. 1 in 10 of those surveyed experience physical abuse at least once weekly. Are one in five school