Northern Ireland news headlines: GCSE results, social housing and government files

GCSE exam results NI

It's GCSE results day for thousands of students across Northern Ireland. The number of top grades fell last year as public exams returned - however results were still higher than pre-pandemic levels. Exam regulators say they expect that trend to continue for another year. AS and A-level students got their results last week.


Over 32,000 people are in urgent need of social housing in Northern Ireland. That's according to figures obtained by UTV. They show there is a clear shortage of social housing with more and more people added to Housing Executive waiting lists as construction struggles to keep up with demand.


Newly-published records have revealed how the Education Department was urged not to 'embarrass' schools by inviting then-education minister Martin McGuinness for visits. The late former IRA commander was appointed to the role in 1999. That prompted protests by some pupils in mainly unionist areas.


Members of Unison working in education have informed the Education Authority of potential strike action. The union says the absence of a Stormont Assembly means steps aren't being taken to address a dispute over pay. It says members will vote in an industrial action ballot.


The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service says it's aiming to boost levels of female recruitment. Just six percent of the workforce is made up of women. That's one of the lowest rates in the UK. A series of 'come and try' days are being held ahead of a round of recruitment next month.

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