Copyright 2018 - De La Salle High School

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 by the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI), 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 at St Joseph’s Boys’ High School in Newry, one of the schools covered in the survey, 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.

“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.

“Today’s 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.

Today’s 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 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

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