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Minister launches Every school a good school: A strategy for raising achievement in literacy and numeracy

23 June, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, today outlined her new strategy for improving literacy and numeracy skills.

Speaking at Strandtown Primary School, Belfast, the Minister said:

"Every School a Good School: A Strategy for Raising Achievement in Literacy and Numeracy aims to reflect and build on the work that many excellent and committed teachers are already doing in many classrooms across the north. My aim is to ensure that every child in every classroom is receiving that same high quality teaching to help them develop essential skills they will need throughout their lives.

"This strategy has at its heart a realisation that it is through good teaching approaches by teachers who are confident professionals, supported by their school leaders, by parents and by the education service as a whole that will deliver the improvements in literacy and numeracy that we all want to see.

"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 and this is not acceptable. 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.

"This strategy is therefore of vital importance as children who leave school with inadequate literacy and numeracy skills face a lifetime of difficulty and disadvantage. I have previously met with employers and business leaders who have told me how important these skills are in today's competitive marketplace. They are also vital for everyday living in a global community."

The Minister concluded her visit to Strandtown by praising the work and strong community ethos of the school.

Ms Ruane said:

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

"This strategy has now 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." ENDS

Notes to Editors:

  1. A copy of the consultation documents can be downloaded from the Department of Education website:
  2. The closing date for responses to the consultation is the end of November

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