Eleven post-primaries on school support programme


Almost a dozen Northern Ireland secondary schools are involved in a support scheme after the quality of their education was labelled inadequate.

Schools from most sectors in the North – state-controlled, Catholic, integrated and grammar – have been red-flagged.

Many were placed into the “formal intervention process” after receiving poor inspection reports. 

During this process, the schools must work to address areas for improvement identified. Staff can also be removed and sent for training.

The Northern Ireland Assembly was told that a total of 11 post-primary schools were deemed inadequate and were currently on a support programme. In addition, two secondary school teachers and a further two headteachers were all found to be unsatisfactory and are also receiving support.

The figures were revealed in response to a question by Danny Kinahan, vice-chairman of the assembly’s cross-party education committee. 

Problems were highlighted at some of these schools as far back as 2009. Many of them – including Ballee Community High School in Ballymena – face an uncertain future.

There are currently no post-primary schools that are “unsatisfactory”, the lowest of the performance levels used in inspection reports.

The quality of education at Crumlin Integrated College improved by one level from unsatisfactory to inadequate between the original and follow-up inspections.

The Department of Education expects that most schools will address the weaknesses identified and achieve the desired level of improvement within two years.

Where, after two inspections, performance is found to remain unsatisfactory further action will be needed.

This might include the restructuring of the governance, leadership and management, merging it with a neighbouring school or shutting it down and re-opening after a period with a new management team.


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