Group photograph at CSSC 3rd AGM 2019

Controlled education sector

The controlled sector is the largest education sector in Northern Ireland. There are 552 controlled schools in Northern Ireland, representing 49% of all schools. Read more about controlled schools success here.

The modern controlled schools sector is a large, diverse and distinctive education system.

It is

• Church related
• Diverse in provision and governance
• Inclusive in making provision for children and young people from all backgrounds
• Aspirational in seeking to provide the best possible education.

Breakdown of controlled schools by Type (2020/21):

• 146,138 pupils attend controlled schools, representing 49% of all pupils.
• 61% of pupils in controlled schools are Protestant, 10% are Catholic, 29% are ‘other’
• 39.5% of newcomer pupils in Northern Ireland attend controlled schools
• 28% of controlled pupils are entitled to free school meals
• 95% of controlled schools are members of the Controlled Schools’ Support Council

Controlled schools are managed by the Education Authority through Boards of Governors.