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Ruane meets Scottish Education Minister

13 December, 2007

Sinn Féin Education Minister Caitríona Ruane has met with her Scottish counterpart, Fiona Hyslop MSP, to discuss a range of educational issues.

Meeting in Edinburgh, Ms Hyslop, Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning and Ms Ruane discussed a range of issues including the progress of Scottish schools and their efforts to reduce the gap in educational underachievement; the work underway in Scotland in relation to teacher employment issue, and Gaelic Medium Education.

Speaking following the meeting, Ms Ruane said:

"I found this engagement very useful. I was particularly interested in the focus in Scotland on early intervention and support for early years and on ensuring that every child can reach his or her potential, regardless of background. This is a focus that we share. It was also good to hear of recent developments in Scotland to ensure that parents have a much fuller and richer involvement in the education of their children.

"While there are many differences in our respective education systems, we share a real determination to make those systems succeed for all our young people."

During the meeting the Ministers also discussed how the Scottish Government has worked to improve standards in schools and has facilitated the growth of Gaelic-Medium Education in Scotland.

"I have taken this opportunity to update the Minister on the proposed changes for transfer from primary to post-primary schools in the North of Ireland. I was also particularly interested in the approach adopted in Scotland to improving standards in schools. The focus on community and parental involvement in schools is an important dimension of their school improvement policy, as is the value placed on democracy in schools, where pupils are encouraged to have a say in how schools are run.

"I will be bringing forward a school improvement policy in the new year called 'Every School a Good School'. This policy will aim to ensure that every child will leave our education system with the skills and qualifications they will need to enter the world of employment. I believe that the work already being done in Scotland can help inform our approach to making this aim a reality." ENDS

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