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Northern Ireland Educational Context

Northern Ireland Educational Context

This section contains information on the wider educational system of which your school is part. Some of the bodies described here will impinge and affect your school from time to time.

The Department of Education (DE)

Responsible for

  • the strategic planning of the education service in Northern Ireland

  • the content of the curriculum

  • the inspection of the delivery of the curriculum in schools

  • allocating finance to education and library boards

  • the capital cost of building works at controlled schools

  • capital grants towards the building costs of maintained and voluntary schools

  • the issue of circulars containing government information for schools

North Eastern Education and Library Board (NEELB)

Responsible for

  • Securing the provision of nursery, primary, secondary and special education in its Area

  • Employing teachers in controlled schools

  • Employing non-teaching staff in controlled and maintained schools

  • Providing curriculum advice and support to grant aided schools

  • Providing a wide range of services e.g. transport, educational psychology throughout the Area

Council for Catholic Maintained School (CCMS)

Responsible for

  • The co-ordination of the Catholic maintained school system in Northern Ireland

  • Employment of teachers in Catholic maintained schools

  • Is empowered to

    • Promote and co-ordinate effective provision of Catholic education

    • Promote the effective management and control of Catholic maintained schools by the Board of Governors

Governing Bodies Association (GBA)

Looks after the interests of the voluntary grammar schools

Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE)

Looks after the interests of the integrated education schools

Conhairle na Gaelscolaiochta (CNAG)

Looks after the interests of the Irish medium schools

Sectors of Education

Schools generally fall into particular sectors reflecting the ages and needs of the children involved. These sectors are

  • Nursery schools (pre-school)

  • Primary schools (ages 4 - 11)

  • Post primary schools (ages 11 - 18)

  • Special schools (ages 4 - 19)

  • Types of School (by Employer)

A range of types of school exists within the NEELB Area

Controlled Schools

  • Buildings are owned and managed by NEELB

  • NEELB is the employer of teaching and non-teaching staff

  • Recurrent costs are met from school budgets (except special schools whose expenditure is met from central funds held by NEELB)

Maintained Schools

Buildings are owned by the school's trustees and administered by the Board of Governors

  • CCMS is the employer of teaching staff

  • NEELB is the employer of non-teaching staff

  • Recurrent costs are met from school budgets

Voluntary Grammar Schools

Buildings are owned by the school's trustees

  • The Board of Governors is the employer of teaching and non-teaching staff

  • Recurrent costs are funded by DE

Grant Maintained Integrated Schools

Buildings are owned by the school's trustees

  • The Board of Governors is the employer of teaching and non-teaching staff

  • Recurrent costs are funded by DE
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