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Listening to the hopes, aspirations and concerns of Northern Ireland's largest education sector
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Listening to the hopes, aspirations and concerns for Northern Ireland's largest education sector

Issues facing the largest education sector in Northern Ireland have been clearly articulated for the first time.

The Controlled Schools’ Support Council (CSSC) has today, Wednesday 28 June 2017, highlighted the desire that controlled school leaders have to secure the highest possible educational outcomes and achievements for all pupils.

However, the ongoing financial constraints, diminishing resources and a deepening gap in the provision of advice and support for governors, principals and teaching staff is hampering this. 

CSSC Chief Executive Barry Mulholland said,

“CSSC has had overwhelming support since its inception on 1 September 2016.  The controlled education sector is diverse, and includes nursery, primary, special and post-primary schools.  Within that, there are controlled integrated, Irish medium, selective and non-selective schools. 

“As a membership organisation with over 90% of controlled schools registered with us, it was important that CSSC listened to schools at this early stage of development to ensure that our programme of work effectively meets the needs of controlled schools and the sector as a whole.

“We therefore held a series of engagement events with school leaders from right across Northern Ireland and I am pleased to launch this report which reflects the hopes, aspirations and concerns of the controlled education sector.”

Barry Mulholland continued,

“CSSC’s work will be underpinned by evidence through research and continuous engagement with schools and other education stakeholders.

“It is our vision to support controlled schools to provide high quality education for children and young people to enable them to learn, develop and grow together within the values of a non-denominational Christian environment.

“By working together with schools, DE, EA, and other stakeholders that have a role in education in Northern Ireland, I am confident that we will achieve this vision and ensure that Northern Ireland has an education system that delivers for all its pupils.”

The report outlines a number of key recommendations that CSSC will seek to take forward in its programme of work, including the need to:

  • better define and understand ethos and how it pertains to controlled schools

  • advance the interests of the controlled education sector in partnership with other organisations

  • secure equitable recognition, status and inclusion in educational policy developments for the controlled sector

  • promote the value of governors and work to identify and reduce barriers to recruiting and retaining governors

  • support schools to raise achievements in the sector and celebrate success

 Download the report here.


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