Home

Church of Ireland Home

Board of Education (N.I.)

Education workshop goes ‘Beyond the Stereotype’

A lively discussion involving around 50 representatives from churches, schools and a range of other key organisations with a role in education took place in Portadown, on Friday (25th March) with a view to helping our children and young people to reach their full potential.
Attendees at the TRC's Beyond the Stereotype workshop in Seagoe Parish Centre.
Attendees at the TRC's Beyond the Stereotype workshop in Seagoe Parish Centre.

The workshop at Seagoe Parish Centre was hosted by the Transferor Representatives’ Council – representing the Church of Ireland, Presbyterian Church and Methodist Church in relation to education in Northern Ireland – and focused on a new research report from Stranmillis University College, Beyond the Stereotype: Approaches to Educational Under(Achievement) in the Controlled Sector in Northern Ireland.

The study, which was commissioned and funded by the TRC, aims to go ‘beyond the stereotype’ of the well–documented challenge of underachievement among Protestant working–class boys from disadvantaged inner–city communities, and to ‘cast the net wider’ to provide a broader and more representative picture.  Particular challenges in rural communities, which have not been reported extensively to date in previous studies, are identified with some school leaders speaking of the difficulty in motivating boys to work hard towards GCSEs.

Significantly, Beyond the Stereotype also finds that while pupils view educational achievement as largely related to success in external exams (such as GCSEs and A–levels), many school and community leaders (including employers) place greater value on a wider range of skills and abilities, and pupils’ mental and physical health, self–confidence, happiness and willingness to learn.

From left: Dr Noel Purdy, Stranmillis University College; Linsey Farrell, Department of Education; Dr Peter Hamill, TRC Secretary; Rosemary Rainey OBE, TRC Chair; and Archbishop John McDowell.
From left: Dr Noel Purdy, Stranmillis University College; Linsey Farrell, Department of Education; Dr Peter Hamill, TRC Secretary; Rosemary Rainey OBE, TRC Chair; and Archbishop John McDowell.

Dr Noel Purdy, who led the research through Stranmillis’ Centre for Research in Educational Underachievement, said: “We’ve certainly identified lots of challenges – there are big challenges facing controlled schools and indeed every school in Northern Ireland – but what we did see was a diverse, committed, community–orientated and innovative sector which is committed to maximising achievement for all children.  In other words, allowing all the children in schools to stand tall and achieve to their full potential.”

Panel discussion with (from left) Mark Baker, Controlled Schools' Support Council; Robin McLaughlin OBE, Principal of Banbridge Academy; Rosemary Rainey OBE, TRC Chair; Cindy Poots, Principal of Seagoe Primary School; and Dr Noel Purdy; Stranmillis University College.
Panel discussion with (from left) Mark Baker, Controlled Schools' Support Council; Robin McLaughlin OBE, Principal of Banbridge Academy; Rosemary Rainey OBE, TRC Chair; Cindy Poots, Principal of Seagoe Primary School; and Dr Noel Purdy; Stranmillis University College.

The TRC represents its member churches in all matters of education in the region, and oversees the appointment of over 1,500 governors to controlled schools.  The three churches transferred (hence the origin of the term ‘transferors’) their school buildings, pupils and staff into state control on the understanding that the Christian ethos of these schools would be maintained. 

You can find out more about the TRC through its website at www.trc–churcheducation.org.  More information on the work of the Centre for Research in Educational Underachievement (CREU) can be found at www.stran.ac.uk/research/creu

Board of Education (NI)

The Board of Education (Northern Ireland) represents the Church of Ireland in all educational matters affecting Northern Ireland and nominates representatives of the Church to any education body as required, including the Transferor Representatives’ Council, the Education Authority, and the Controlled Schools’ Support Council.

More information on the work of the Transferor Representatives’ Council – representing the Church of Ireland, Presbyterian Church and Methodist Church in education policy in Northern Ireland – is available on its website at
www.trc–churcheducation.org


Dr Peter Hamill

Secretary, Board of Education (NI)
Church of Ireland House
61-67 Donegall Street
Belfast
BT1 2QH
+44 (0)28 9082 8860

edunorth@ireland.anglican.org

Our use of cookies

Some cookies are necessary for us to manage how our website behaves while other optional, or non-necessary, cookies help us to analyse website usage. You can Accept All or Reject All optional cookies or control individual cookie types below.

You can read more in our Cookie Notice

Functional

These cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

Analytical cookies help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on its usage.