Policy Matters

Educational Review in Northern Ireland

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Local people must 'grab the opportunity' to engage in the forthcoming consultation process, which is being held as part of a major review of education in Northern Ireland. That is the view of Monkstown Community School headmaster, Dennis Harvey, who highlighted the Department of Education consultation during his address at the school's annual prize distribution. 'This consultation process will only be effective if the people who live in our community grab this opportunity and respond.'

The headmaster commented that there was a 'reticence' in the community to speak out about families' wishes for their children. 'We have a tendency to leave it to other people,' he remarked. 'There is also a tendency to only get involved when it is too late to have your views make a difference.' The headmaster expressed concern that the educational debate was being 'orchestrated by a small number of individuals who seem to be able to generate acres of newsprint to express their views.' Harvey congratulated students and staff on recent examination successes, commenting that in his all-ability school, all the young people were equally valued. In ICT, 78% of students scored an A-C grade success and in business and communications systems, the A-C pass level was 80%.

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