20 Jul

Appointment of new members to the Education Authority Board

Appointment of new members to the Education Authority Board The Department of Education has announced the appointment of two new members to the Education Authority Board.

The appointments are as follows:

Mrs Sarah Kelly is from Derry and is the former Principal of St Joseph’s Boys School, Derry and Thornhill College, Derry.

Mr Nelson McCausland is from Newtownabbey and is a member of the committee of the Ulster Scots Community Network.


5 Jul

Catholic school’s attempt to become integrated rejected

Catholic school's attempt to become integrated rejectedThe first Catholic school in Northern Ireland to try to change to integrated status will not be allowed to do so.

The decision has been taken by the permanent secretary at the Department of Education (DE), Derek Baker.

Clintyclay Primary, near Dungannon in County Tyrone is a small rural school which had 36 pupils in 2017/18.

Parents of pupils there had originally voted in favour of the change to integrated status in 2014.

However, that move was rejected at the time, which led to legal action.

The then Education Minister John O’Dowd in turn appealed the decision to quash his order to close the school.


2 Jul

Almost half of young teachers out of work

Almost half of young teachers out of workThe number of young teachers in classrooms is falling with statistics showing almost half are out of work.

Older staff staying on for longer and limited job openings are among the reasons being offered for an ageing profession.

Only about one in 10 teachers in employment are aged 30 and under, while the proportion of those aged 65 remaining registered is on the rise.

It is hoped a multi-million pound drive to replace hundreds of near-retirement age teachers with younger staff will help reverse the decline.


26 Jun

Single transfer test moves closer

Single transfer test moves closer Pupils could be sitting a single transfer test by 2020, following reports that the two groups that set separate papers have agreed draft proposals.

Negotiations have been held between the Association of Quality Education (AQE) and the Post-Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC) and the agreement is set to go out to consultation.

Grammar school principals and boards of governors will be among those asked to endorse the proposals, the BBC reported last night.

It is suggested the single test could be running within two to three years.



25 Jun

Anti-sectarianism: Key to a united, shared future

Anti-sectarianism: Key to a united, shared futureSectarianism is synonymous with the political and economic history of the north of Ireland.

In the decades following partition it was institutionalised within the structures of government and society.

Sectarianism defined the North: it dictated employment, education, housing and voting rights.

In the southern Irish state post partition, catholic doctrine directly influenced the nature of the state and social policy, and alienated sections of the protestant population.

The legacy of sectarianism has been a blight on society, north and south.

Today it remains endemic in northern society.


25 Jun

Baroness May Blood will step away from the House of Lords next month after 19 years of service

Baroness May Blood will step away from the House of Lords next month after 19 years of serviceBaroness May Blood will step away from the House of Lords next month after 19 years of service as the first woman from Northern Ireland to be given a life peerage. A proud working-class Belfast woman, she tells Joanne Sweeney how she walked through the doors that life opened to her in an extraordinary career

When Baroness May Blood speaks, only a fool wouldn’t listen closely, as the likes of Gerry Adams and the late Ian Paisley could attest.

Having turned 80 a few weeks ago, the Shankill woman will step down from the House of Lords after 19 years of representing Northern Ireland’s interests in Westminster. She was in London three days a week, never missing any of the 39 weeks the House sat throughout the years.

“When I came in here first I didn’t think I would survive one year, let alone 19. But I always said that if I could survive, I would stay until I was 80. But I’m also leaving due to the travel,” she explains.

“I thought everyone wouldn’t understand me as they were so well educated and I wasn’t. That’s completely untrue.

“In my time in the Lords, I’ve learned that I have skills that I never knew I processed and I learned that there are things you can do if you just make up your mind to do it.”



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