Raising standards in controlled schools to meet the skills gap

Over 50 delegates from schools across Northern Ireland braved the bitterly cold temperatures to attend CSSC’s raising standards conference on Wednesday 28 February in Craigavon.

CSSC Chief Executive Barry Mulholland said

It is excellent that so many Principals from controlled schools attended today despite the weather; it shows the appetite that controlled schools have to improve educational outcomes for children and young people.

CSSC is delighted to have worked in partnership with the Education Authority to deliver this event, which explored how school leaders, in the current climate, can connect theory and practise to raise school standards.

The conference was chaired by CSSC Council member Robin McLoughlin of Banbridge Academy, who invited keynote speaker Gareth Hetherington, to discuss the ‘Skills Barometer’ and forecasting future demands for skills in the work force.

Gareth told delegates about the importance of employability skills including problem solving, team working and communication.  He went on to emphasise the need for STEM as there is currently an under supply of people with these skills.

Seamus Bradley from the Education Authority spoke to the importance of shared education and its impact on raising standards in schools, highlighting that sharing classes and shared professional expertise from teachers leads to continuous school improvement.

Other speakers included Stephen Harrison, who focused on raising standards through leadership; EA’s Patricia Cooney who outlined how important teacher professional learning is for improved educational outcomes; and Sinead McKenna of ETI who encouraged schools to build relationships and have conversations with inspectors.

The event was closed by Mark Baker, from EA, who discussed the importance of collaboration for raising standards.

CSSC will be hosting two further events for member schools in March.  International Women’s Day (8 March) will see a women’s leadership event taking place, and an exploring ethos conference will be held on 22 March. More information on the ethos conference is available here.


5 March 2018