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Area Based Planning moves ahead in Education

6 March, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, has announced the chairpersons of the new area planning groups.

On Tuesday 4 March the Minister informed the Assembly that she was putting in place a process and structures to take forward an area based look at post- primary provision.

The Minister said:

"I said in the Assembly that I was setting up a central group with an independent chairperson and vice chairperson to oversee the exercise, and five area groups at local level, again chaired by independent persons. The area groups, which will work in sub areas that reflect the distribution of educational provision, will be broadly based on education and library board areas, but the boundaries will have to be flexible to take account of the flows of children rather than fixed boundaries.

"I am delighted to be able to announce today that seven highly respected members of our community who have contributed significantly to education in the North of Ireland have agreed to act as chairpersons of the various groups. I am very grateful for their cooperation and look forward to receiving the outcomes of their deliberations.

"Establishing these groups is an important stage in the programme of major reforms I am progressing to improve our education system." ENDS


Adeline Dinsmore, currently Principal of Ashfield Girls High School in Belfast will be chairperson of the central group.

Joe Martin, former Chief Executive of the Western Education and Library Board will be deputy chairperson of the central group.

Tom Shaw, former Chief Inspector in the Education and Training Inspectorate will chair the Belfast area group.

Pat McAleavey, Principal of St Patrick's High School, Keady will chair the southern area group.

Maighréad Martin, former Principal of St Catherine's College, Armagh will chair the south eastern area group.

John Young, former Principal of Sullivan Upper School in Holywood will chair the north eastern area group.

Revd Robert Herron, Vice Chairperson of the Transferor Representative's Council will chair the western area group.

The local groups will report regularly to the central group with final reports in October 2008 and consultation on the plans will be completed by January 2009.

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