Policy Forum for Northern Ireland

Education in Northern Ireland: next steps for the curriculum, inspection and improving standards

Morning, Tuesday, 4th December 2018



This timely seminar will examine the priorities for education policy in Northern Ireland, focusing on inspection, improving standards and next steps in developing the curriculum and models of assessment.

Sessions will look at the latest thinking on the role of the inspectorate in improving school standards, the next steps in self-evaluation, engaging with communities and parents and delivering change through effective school leadership, as well as considering the way forward for tackling inequalities and educational underachievement, including in groups such as Protestant working-class boys.

Delegates will also consider the future for the curriculum in Northern Ireland - meeting the needs of pupils, employers and the wider economy - and will look at the part that schools can play in shaping and delivering the curriculum, including through collaboration with other schools.


Keynote Speakers

Tommy O’Reilly

Deputy Secretary, Education and Children’s Services, Department of Education

Justin Edwards

Chief Executive, CCEA

John Unsworth

Assistant Director of Education, Education Authority


Chris Lyttle MLA

Vice-Chairperson, All Party Group on Children and Young People

Rosemary Barton MLA

Education Spokesperson, UUP


Mary Nihill

National Director, Centre for School Leadership

Jo McColgan

Headteacher, Ashfield Boys High School, Belfast

Gillian McGrath

Director of Education, CCMS

Professor Alan Thurston

Director, Centre for Effective Education, Queen’s University Belfast

Councillor Peter Martin

Ards and North Down Borough Council

Hilary Cunningham

Headteacher, Fane Street Primary School, Belfast

Roger Pollen

Head of External Affairs NI, Federation of Small Businesses

Mark Langhammer

Regional Secretary, NEU Northern Ireland