Education Authority Publish area planning strategic plans

30-June-22
Education Authority Publish area planning strategic plans

The Education Authority (EA) today (29 June 2022) 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’.

‘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.

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

“CCMS welcomes the launch of the ‘Strategic Area Plan 2022-27: Planning for Sustainable Provision’ and our first regional ‘Special Education Strategic Plan 2022-27: Planning for Special Education Provision. This is the culmination of collaborative effort across education sector area planning partners and informed by stakeholder engagement. It provides a strategic vision for the next five years, focused on ensuring high quality sustainable provision for all our children and young people. CCMS continues to work with all education partners to cultivate a system which enables all our young people to meet their full potential.“

EA Director of Education Michele Corkey said: “The Education Authority is 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 to launch 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.

In delivering the strategic area plans, an Operational Plan, to be published in August 2022 in advance of the new academic year, will translate the vision of the strategies into practical area planning actions through short and medium term work streams.

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.”

Michele Corkey 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 children and young people.”

The plans will be available to download at Education Authority - Area Planning

CCMS Lisburn, Linen Hill House, 23 Linenhall Street, Lisburn, BT28 1FJ.
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