General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

 


Ruane reveals first schools specialising in humanities

05-06-2008


05/06/2008 :: Northern Ireland :: The Irish News

The first schools in the north to receive extra money to deliver expert tuition in the humanities have been named.

Three schools will become humanities specialists from September, although it is not a specific area of learning in the revised curriculum.

Education minister Caitriona Ruane named nine new specialist schools yesterday, bringing the total across the north to 34.

The scheme was devised by the government to encourage post-primary schools to focus on specific areas to boost achievement.

In England these schools im-prove faster and score better at GCSE than non-specialists.

This is the third year of the scheme in Northern Ireland.

The latest schools to be chosen will specialise in arts, business, sport, science, mathematics and the humanities.

Of the schools that submitted humanities applications - including St Patrick's Grammar in Down-patrick - English was listed as the lead subject with religion, journalism, drama and geography named as contributory subjects.

Thornhill College in Derry has been designated a mathematics specialist, making it the fifth school in the city chosen for the scheme. It was the third time Thornhill had applied.

Holy Trinity College in Cooks-town, where Tyrone All-Ireland-winning GAA captain Peter Cana-van teaches, will specialise in sport.

An independent panel chaired by Dr Tom Hesketh, director of the Regional Training Unit, was formed to consider applications.

Each school had to submit a four-year development plan that involved forging partnerships with at least five other schools.

Schools will be designated for four years and receive £100 extra per pupil per year.

In their advice to the minister panel members said the applications demonstrated a growing impetus in the post-primary community to collaborate.

"I am encouraged by the findings of the panel as there is a clear indication that post-primary schools are seeking to work to-gether in the best interest of the young people and the wider community," Ms Ruane said.

She welcomed schools' efforts to benefit all pupils in an area.

 

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