Minister O’Dowd highlights best practice in local schools
New-Bridge Integrated College was highlighted as an example of good practice in an Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) report in the way it continues to achieve good results in English and mathematics at GCSE level.
Education Minister, John O’Dowd, congratulated 11 local schools who have been successfully breaking the link between social disadvantage and educational attainment.
The schools, highlighted as examples of good practice in an Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) report published today, have relatively high levels of free school meal entitlement yet have achieved good results in English and mathematics at GCSE level.
Speaking at the launch of the report, the Minister said: “My main priorities as Education Minister are to raise educational standards and close the attainment gap between those most and those least disadvantaged.
“We are continuing to make great strides in raising standards; attainment levels are continuing to rise. Last year 62% of young people left school having achieved at least five GCSEs or equivalents at grades A* to C including English and maths. This was up from 54.2% in 2007 – the last year of Direct Rule.
“However there is much more work to do, particularly to break the link between disadvantage and educational attainment. A child’s social background should not pre-determine their life chances.
The report highlights that many schools across the north are successfully breaking the link. The 11 schools surveyed have been raising their pupils’ aspirations, delivering good results in the key subject areas of English and mathematics and are helping individual children fulfil their potential.”
The report, which contains examples of good practice in the delivery of English and mathematics, will be issued to all post-primary schools locally. The best practice identified will also be used by ETI to support other schools with high free school meal entitlement levels to raise standards.
The launch event also provided the opportunity for the 11 schools to meet and discuss how to consolidate and build upon the improvements not only in their own schools, but also in other schools locally.
The Minister continued: “These 11 schools are to be congratulated on the excellent work they have been doing to deliver educational improvements and their experiences can inform and assist other schools deliver similar improvements.
“The ETI will be using today’s report as a basis on which to support other schools in the drive to boost educational outcomes and I welcome the commitment of the 11 schools here today to play their part in this work.”
The 11 schools which are examined in the report are:
Ballycastle High School
De La Salle High School, Downpatrick
Holy Trinity College, Cookstown
Markethill High School
New-Bridge Integrated College, Loughbrickland
Newtownhamilton High School
Sperrin Integrated College, Magherafelt
St Cecilia’s College, Derry
St Joseph’s Boys’ High School, Newry
St Mary’s College, Clady, Portglenone
St Mary’s College, Irvinestown
Group – Ian Williamson (Ballycastle HS), Hugh Mallon (St Joseph’s Boy’s HS Newry), Patricia Cooney (St Mary’s College Irvinestown), Education Minister John O’Dowd, Noelle Buick (Chief Inspector of the Education and Training Inspectorate), Anne Anderson (Newbridge Integrated College Loughbrickland), Basil Donnnelly (St Mary’s College Clady), Martine Mulhern (Saint Cecelia’s College Derry), Barry Sharvin (De la Salle HS Downpatrick), James Maxwell (Markethill HS), Garnet Mullan (Newtownhamilton HS) and Maria Hunter (Sperrin Integrated College Magherafelt)