30 Jan

May Blood: Donating time and effort to the cause of integration

May Blood: Donating time and effort to the cause of integration A veteran activist for the integration movement in Northern Ireland said she initially dismissed the campaign as she believed it was aimed at middle class people – “those who could afford to choose” when it came to education.

But in 1999 May Blood, who was born and raised in Belfast and who once worked in a linen mill, presented the prizes at Hazelwood Integrated College and found she had to re-evaluate her initial opinion.

“I discovered there were kids from Sandy Row, kids from the Shankill, kids from the Falls. I couldn’t believe it.”

Ms Blood, who in 1999 was offered a life peerage and a seat in the House of Lords, was invited to join the Northern Ireland Integrated Education Fund and went on to become a champion for the sector.


29 Jan

Give your child a helping hand – Support their education

Give your child a helping hand - Support their educationThe Department of Education is launching an advertising campaign encouraging parents, carers and extended family to support their children’s education by giving them ‘a helping hand’.

Read to them from an early age; show an interest in their day at school; talk to them about their homework; and help them make the decisions now that will shape them into the adults they will become in future.

A good education opens up a world of opportunities for children and young people and parental involvement and encouragement plays an essential part from the very early years through to the vital exam stages.


24 Jan

Integrated, all-ability Lagan College proves more popular than grammar schools in NI according to the Belfast Telegraph stats

Lagan College was the most popular first choice by farUnofficial transfer tests are still growing in popularity – 10 years after the abolition of the 11-plus.

Just over half of P7 pupils in Northern Ireland sit tests each year in the hope of attaining a place at an academically selective grammar school. In the 2016/17 academic year 11,570 applications were made for the 8,743 available places at our 63 selective grammars.

This is out of a total of 21,763 pupils who obtained Year 8 places at Northern Ireland’s 199 post-primary schools in September 2017.

Today the Belfast Telegraph can reveal what grades or scores it took to get into each of our selective grammars last year.


24 Jan

Budget plans refused for 632 NI schools

Budget plans refused for 632 NI schoolsThe Education Authority (EA) has refused to approve the budget plans submitted by 632 schools, the BBC has learned.

The authority said it was because those schools were unable to show they could stay within their allocated budgets in 2017/18.

By contrast, only 239 schools have had their spending plans approved.

If the EA does not approve a school’s budget plan, it can take more control over the school’s financial planning.


22 Jan

Writing off school debts placing budgets under greater strain

Writing off school debts placing budgets under greater strain Massive debts of closed schools are being written off placing greater strain on under pressure education funds.

In the most extreme cases, the Education Authority (EA) is being made swallow close to £1 million deficits incurred by schools.

Taking these losses on means less money for essential services including meals, maintenance and transport.

Documents from the EA show the extent of the problem.


18 Jan

More than 4,000 NI pupils suspended from school last year

More than 4,000 NI pupils suspended from school last yearMore than 4,000 pupils were suspended from school in the last school year, according to new figures published by the Department of Education (DE).

A total of 4,048 pupils were suspended in 2016/17, a fall from 4,156 in 2015/16.

However, the number of pupils expelled rose from 19 in 2015/16 to 33 in 2016/17.

Just under a third of suspensions were given for physical attacks on other pupils or staff.