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Schools’ high achievements celebrated at Stormont

December 15, 2016

THE fastest-growing education sector in the north has had the achievements of its schools celebrated at Stormont.

Three Gaelscoileanna (primary schools), three Naíscoileanna (nursery schools) and one Irish language post-primary were honoured.

The Irish -medium schools were among those who attained the highest level for overall effectiveness in recent inspections by the Education and Training Inspectorate.

They included Gaelscoil an Chaistil in Ballycastle, Bunscoil an tSléibhe Dhuibh in Belfast and the Irish-medium unit at St Francis’ PS in Lurgan.

St Joseph’s Grammar School, Donaghmore’s Irish-medium unit was also honoured alongside three nursery providers, Naíscoil Chois Locha in Lurgan, Naíscoil Charn Tóchair in Maghera and Naíscoil Ghleann Darach in Crumlin.

Liam Ó Flannagáin, chief executive of Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta, the statutory body for the promotion of Irish-medium education, said the awards were welcome recognition for the endeavours of all the schools involved.

“These awards are testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved with these schools, and underline the huge improvement in standards in the Irish-medium sector over the past few years,” he said.

“This, together with the record numbers of parents now choosing Irish-medium education for their children, in over 80 settings across the north, means that the future is bright for the region’s fastest-growing education sector.”

Sonia Nic Giolla Easbuig, chair of Naíscoil Charn Tóchair said all associated with the school were delighted to receive recognition.

“The high standard achieved in Naíscoil Charn Tóchair is as a result of the hard work and dedication of the staff and parents involved with the school throughout the years,” she said.

“The naíscoil opened its doors over 30 years ago and since then has been an integral part of the Carntogher community. This community has a deep respect and grá for the Irish language and culture that stands out amongst other rural communities.

“There is an Irish saying `Ár scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine’ meaning `people survive better together’ and Naíscoil Charn Tóchair and its local community illustrate this in abundance.”

Education minister Peter Weir said all schools represented had demonstrated examples of the best practise that exists in many educational settings.

“These institutions, identified through the inspection process by the Education and Training Inspectorate are delivering this best practise to children and young people, including those with special educational needs, from the very important early years through to post-16 study and also outside school provision,” he said.

“There are many excellent and highly dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to ensure that our children and young people receive the high quality education they deserve and I commend teachers, principals, school governors, pre-school leaders, youth workers, teaching assistants, parents and indeed the wider school community for their professionalism and commitment.”

The Irish News