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Minister launches new School Improvement Policy

21 January, 2008


Sinn Féin Education Minister Caitríona Ruane today outlined her new policy for school improvement.

Speaking at Ashfield Girls School the Minister said:

"Every School a Good School is a new, pupil centred policy with equality and improvement at its heart. This provides a foundation for my vision that every young person has the same opportunity to succeed, regardless of their background, gender or race.

"Through this strategy we intend to build on the good practice that already exists and support all of our schools to strive for improvement. I firmly believe that every school can be a good school.

"Here at Ashfield Girls I have seen some of the excellent work already taking place and have been particularly impressed by the strong leadership being displayed as well as a commitment to equality and inclusion through exemplary teaching and the strong links between school, parents and community.

"This policy is not intended to sit alone but has been developed to work alongside the revised curriculum and complement developments already taking place such as the extended and specialist schools programmes.

"While I recognise the strengths of our school system and that our pupils have an excellent academic record, this success masks a degree of underperformance. Many of our young people still leave school after 12 years compulsory education with poor levels of literacy and numeracy. If a commitment to equality is to mean anything we must close this gap and raise achievements to go far beyond measures of success in external examinations. The effective and efficient implementation of this policy will ensure that our schools are second to none.

"As I have outlined in my educational reform proposals to the Assembly, children and parents need to be able to have confidence that their local post primary schools offer quality and depth of educational provision that they need and deserve. 'Every School a Good School' will help us to realise this goal.

"This policy document has been issued for consultation and I would encourage everyone to participate and let us know their views. This will help us to offer all our young people the quality education they deserve."

NOTES TO EDITORS:

1. The 'Every School a Good School' document and consultation response can be downloaded from www.deni.gov.uk

2. Email responses for consultation can be forwarded to [email protected] Written responses can also be sent to:-

School Improvement Branch
Department of Education
Rathgael House
Balloo Road
Bangor
BT19 7PR

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