Policy Forum for Northern Ireland

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Next steps for the education system in NI and priorities for the Independent Review of Education - education recovery in the wake of the pandemic, the future shape and design of the school system, tackling inequality, funding, and governance

Morning, Tuesday, 22nd March 2022


This conference focuses on next steps for the design and delivery of education in Northern Ireland.


It will be an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss key issues as the wide-ranging Independent Review of Education begins its 18-month deliberations.


Delegates will examine the Review’s remit, its initial findings, and the key areas it should look at as it continues. It will be an opportunity to offer feedback as it considers how education in Northern Ireland should be delivered in the 21st century.


We are pleased to be able to announce a keynote address from the Independent Review’s Chair, Dr Keir Bloomer who will be outlining initial findings from the Independent Review.


The agenda is structured to bring out latest thinking on:

  • the future of education in Northern Ireland - latest thinking on developing a shared vision of education, as well as options and issues for creating a single education system
    • with Amanda Watkins, Assistant Director, European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education on international models of education
  • education recovery in the context of the pandemic - lost learning during the pandemic, supporting students and addressing mental health concerns
  • the school system - examining its future shape and design, and exploring ways to tackle inequalities
    • with Michele Corkey, Director of Education, Education Authority on tackling inequality in the education system
  • supporting delivery - what is needed in terms of funding, governance, and provision for staff wellbeing
  • education standards - areas for improvement in Northern Ireland, and learning from best practice
    • with Faustina Graham, Chief Inspector, Education Training Inspectorate (ETI) on future priorities for education and school standards

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from the Department for the Economy; the Northern Ireland Audit Office; and the DfE.



Keynote Speakers

Dr Keir Bloomer

Chair, Independent Review of Education

Faustina Graham

Chief Inspector, Education Training Inspectorate (ETI)

Amanda Watkins

Assistant Director, European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education

Michele Corkey

Director of Education, Education Authority

Keynote Speakers

Amanda Watkins

Assistant Director, European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education

Michele Corkey

Director of Education, Education Authority

Dr Keir Bloomer

Chair, Independent Review of Education

Faustina Graham

Chief Inspector, Education Training Inspectorate (ETI)

Chair

Pat Sheehan

Committee Deputy Chair, Committee for Education, Northern Ireland Assembly

Speakers

Stephen Dallas

Chief Executive Officer, The Bytes Project

Emma Harrison

Lead, Nurture Unit, Abbots Cross Primary School, Newtonabbey

Professor Siobhan O’Neill

Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland; and Professor of Mental Health Sciences, Ulster University

Justin Conville

Principal, King’s Park Primary School

Barry Corr

Principal, Seaview Integrated Primary School, Glenarm

Scott Naismith

Executive Board Member, Governing Bodies Association; and, Principal, Methodist College, Belfast

Dr Stephen Roulston

Course Director PGCE Geography, Ulster University

Gerry Campbell

Chief Executive, Council for Catholic Maintained Schools

Dr Andrew Brown

Vice-chair, Transferor Representatives’ Council; and Chair of Broughshane Primary School Board of Governors, Ballymena

Senior speaker confirmed from IM Post-Primary

Dr Patricia Eaton

Director of Teaching and Learning, Stranmillis University College

Dr Graham Gault

President, NAHT NI