20 Jan

Review into why Protestant boys do worse at school will be ‘meaningless’ unless followed up by action

Review into why Protestant boys do worse at school will be 'meaningless' unless followed up by actionA Fresh review into why Protestant boys do worse at school will be “meaningless” unless followed up by action, it has been warned.

The New Decade, New Approach deal promised that the executive would establish a group to examine and propose an action plan to address links between persistent educational underachievement and socio-economic background.

This will look specifically at the long-standing issues facing working-class, “.

Experts have asked “why?” given there have been several reports over the past decade on the theme.

Academics, politicians as well bodies including the Equality Commission and Community Relations Council (CRC) have all examined the issue. http://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2020/01/20/news/new-review-into-why-protestant-boys-do-worse-at-school-will-be-meaningless-unless-followed-up-by-action-1818408/?param=ds441rif44T

16 Jan

Review to push for single education system `must be a priority’ – Integrated AlumNI

Review to push for single education system `must be a priorityIntegrated school campaigners have urged Peter Weir to prioritise exploring the possibility of a single education system.

The New Decade, New Approach deal said the restored executive would establish an external, independent review of education provision.

It will focus on securing greater efficiency in costs, raising standards, access to the curriculum for all pupils, and the prospects of moving towards a single system.

The north has multiple school sectors – Catholic, state controlled, voluntary grammar, integrated and Irish-medium…

…Integrated AlumNI, a network of past pupils and ambassadors of integrated education, said minister Peter Weir needs to prioritise the review.

It said the inefficiency and added cost arising from segregation in the system has been well documented.

Furthering the provision of integrated education, the group added, was vital to “producing leaders who are willing and able to work together”.


13 Jan

National Secular Society podcast: Integrated education in Northern Ireland

National Secular Society podcast: Integrated education in Northern IrelandIn this episode, Emma Park speaks with Maddy Bridgman and Sam Fitzsimmons of the Integrated Education Fund, a charity that supports inclusive, integrated education (not segregated into de facto Protestant and Catholic schools) in Northern Ireland.

Maddy and Sam discuss the IEF’s campaign to support an integrated school system, and outline some of the difficulties the IEF has faced, both political, administrative and structural.

They also discuss positive signs that school students who attend integrated schools are benefiting from the tolerant and inclusive ethos that these schools promote.


2 Jan

Enrolments in multidenominational schools up 4%

Enrolments in multidenominational schools up 4%Enrolments in multidenominational schools increased by 4 per cent this year while there was a very small decline in enrolments in Catholic schools, official figures from the Department of Education show.

Overall, enrolments rose by 8,386 across all primary and post-primary schools in September 2019 to a total of 930,833.

At primary level, total enrolments fell slightly to 559,378 in September, which was a reduction of 170 or 0.03 per cent on September 2018.

When examined by ethos, the results show the fastest growing category in percentage and absolute terms was multidenominational schools, which increased by 4.8 per cent with an additional 1,746 pupils.

That compared with a decline of 0.4 per cent in Catholic schools, or 1,810 fewer pupils….

….“The numbers highlight important changes in our school-going population, with a fall in primary enrolments for the first time since 2000 while numbers in post-primary schools have risen substantially,” said Minister for Education Joe McHugh.


2 Jan

Ballyhackett school in North learning valuable survival lesson

Ballyhackett school in North learning valuable survival lessonAt Ballyhackett Primary School outside Castlerock, Co Derry, religion is low on the pupils’ list of priorities.

“I know the religion of some of my friends, but not all of them,” says Ellie-Rose Guyler (10).

“I don’t think about it much,” chips in her friend Kara Mullan (9).

“We talk about other things,” explains their 10-year-old classmate Aidan Bradley.

The pupils are interested in art, homework, and playing with their friends. “We have a field,” says Aidan, pointing from the playground across the road.

Ballyhackett is surrounded by fields. In the foothills of the Sperrin Mountains, but only a few miles from the Co Derry coast, the schoolyard overlooks green countryside with the sea beyond.


12 Dec

NI Education: ‘Significant pressure’ on post-primary school places

NI Education: 'Significant pressure' on post-primary school placesThe Department of Education is warning of pressure on post-primary school places in some areas in 2020.

That is because the number of pupils transferring from primary schools has risen by 10% in only three years.

As a result, the department is asking some principals to apply for extra year eight places on a temporary basis for 2020 and 2021.

In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of children who struggle to get a post-primary place.


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