10 Oct

Primary school principals warn of funding crisis

Primary school principals warn of funding crisisPrimary school principals in Londonderry have warned of the “profoundly negative impact” of budget cuts in a joint letter to parents.

The letter was sent home with pupils across the city on Tuesday.

It warns of a “crisis in education” and of cuts to staff numbers, increased class sizes and longer waiting lists for special educational needs services.

School heads also urge Northern Ireland’s politicians to return to government.


5 Oct

Decline in those who believe Northern Ireland cross-community relations are improving

Concern over decline in those who believe Northern Ireland cross-community relations are improvingFewer than half of people in Northern Ireland believe community relations are improving, according to a new survey.

The Northern Ireland Good Relations Indicators report shows that only 49% of adults surveyed in 2017 thought relationships between Protestants and Catholics are better now compared to five years ago.

That figure is down 10% on 2016. The proportion of young people who believe relationships have improved fell from 52% to 46%.

The survey also revealed that 89% of respondents prefer a mixed religion workplace, 78% of people have favourable attitudes to mixed neighbourhoods, and 68% are positive about mixed schools.


28 Sep

Patrick Kielty unveiled as patron of Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education

Patrick Kielty unveiled as patron of Northern Ireland Council for Integrated EducationComedian Patrick Kielty has told of his pride as he’s today unveiled as a patron for integrated education.

The Co Down man joins boxing champ Carl Frampton as a high-profile supporter of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education.

Earlier this year, Kielty presented a BBC documentary about the Good Friday Agreement and the killing of his dad by loyalists in Dundrum in 1988.

He said: “If we want to change the future we need to start with our kids, letting them discover what they have in common.


12 Sep

NI Citizens’ Assembly pilot to go ahead

NI Citizens' Assembly pilot to go The first Citizens’ Assembly for Northern Ireland is to go ahead next month, it has been confirmed.

Funding for the group was first made available in January. It will meet over two weekends, starting at the end of October.

The body will be made up of people selected at random by different methods, reflecting the make-up of Northern Ireland society.

Its first debate will be about Northern Ireland’s adult social care system.

The group, made up of between 50 and 100 people, will run like the assembly that currently operates in the Republic of Ireland.


22 Aug

Lollipop men and women removal proposal ‘unpalatable’

Lollipop men and women removal proposal 'unpalatable'The Education Authority (EA) has considered removing all “lollipop men and women” in an effort to save money.

However EA board members regarded that proposal – and other potentially controversial savings measures – as “unpalatable”.

The board also decided any decision to make such cuts should be down to the Department of Education (DE).

The revelation comes in a letter from the EA to the department seen by BBC News NI.

It states that the EA faces an estimated funding gap of £58m in 2018/19.


16 Aug

Northern Ireland A-level results: Lagan College triplets get matching results

Northern Ireland A-level results: Lagan College triplets get matching resultsThere was a triple celebration at Lagan College in south Belfast where triplets Nancy, Hannah and Jack Eaton received exactly the same results – two Bs and a C.

Nancy got her grades in English, politics and French and is planning to take a year out before going on to Queen’s University Belfast to study global politics, while her sister Hannah took sociology, media studies and health and social care, and is hoping to study nursing.

Jack got his grades in software systems, media studies and business studies and is planning to go on to study software engineering at Liverpool John Moores University.


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