EA publish operational plan 1 in support of area planning strategic plans

01-September-22
EA publish operational plan 1 in support of area planning strategic plans

The Education Authority (EA) published Northern Ireland’s ‘Strategic Area Plan 2022-27: Planning for Sustainable Provision’ and its first ‘Special Education Strategic Plan 2022-27: Planning for Special Education Provision’ in June 2022.

‘Special Education Strategic Plan 2022-27: Planning for Special Education Provision’ is the first regional plan to focus on creating sustainable special education provision that ensures all pupils in special schools and specialist provision in mainstream schools have the opportunity to achieve their full potential. ‘Strategic Area Plan 2022-27: Planning for Sustainable Provision’ will build upon the valuable work undertaken in the first strategic plan (2017–2020 extended to 2022) to develop a network of sustainable schools.

Gerry Campbell Chief Executive of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) commented:

“CCMS welcomed the extensive collaboration with education sector colleagues to develop the Operational Plan launched today. We will continue to work with our education partners to ensure all our children and young people have access to high quality education in viable sustainable schools.

Our vision is to enable all young people to meet their full potential, through access to quality education irrespective of location, socio-economic background, ability, or gender. CCMS remains committed to an education system which enables all pupils to achieve their full potential.

EA Director Assistant Director of Education Kim Scott said:

“The Education Authority was delighted to launch these strategies in partnership with the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools, the Catholic Schools’ Trustee Service, Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta, Controlled Schools’ Support Council, Governing Bodies Association, Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education and Transferor Representatives’ Council. I am particularly pleased we launched the first standalone Special Education Strategic Area Plan, given the significant growth in the number of children with special educational needs in Northern Ireland. We need to ensure there is sufficient provision in both special schools and specialist provision in mainstream schools to meet the needs of local communities

"We also plan to create school places so that pupils with special educational needs can attend their nearest suitable school, which can adapt to their changing educational, physical and medical needs. This is an ambitious plan, but we welcome the challenge.

“For primary and post-primary schools we will work with all educational partners and stakeholders to ensure pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum that meets their educational needs in a school that is educationally and financially viable and sustainable. This will be carried out in line with ministerial Area Planning priorities, which include addressing the issues of primary pupils being taught in composite classes of more than two year groups; post-primary schools that are failing to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for pupils in years 8-12; and small sixth forms that cannot offer a full range of courses.

“In delivering the strategic area plans, Operational Plan 1: 2022-24, is published today. Operational Plan 1: 2022-24 will translate the vision of the strategies into practical area planning actions through short and medium term work streams. The publication of Operational Plan 1: 2022-24 provides the opportunity to engage in discussions with schools to explore and discuss area planning options and solutions for local areas.

“I would like to thank all of our school staff in particular for the commitment they have demonstrated in difficult and challenging times, and I look forward to working in partnership with them to deliver the changes required for our children and young people.”

Kim Scott added: “Our focus must remain at all times on the educational needs of our children and young people.

“I would encourage schools, families and their communities to join us on this journey, and to engage with area planning as we work to achieve effective and sustainable solutions for provision in Northern Ireland, which will deliver the best educational outcomes for all children and young people.”

The plans are available to download at Education Authority Northern Ireland Area Planning

CCMS Lisburn, Third Floor-23 Linenhall Street, Linenhall Street , Lisburn, BT28 1FJ
028 9201 3014
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