Shortlist for specialist schools pilot

The Irish News had an exclusive today[reg req], the 13 post-primary schools shortlisted for approximately 10 places in the 4-year Specialist Schools Pilot and additional funding. A couple points that should, perhaps, be highlighted. On 6th September this year the Department of Education invited schools to apply to be included in the Specialist Schools Pilot stating that “The aim [of the pilot scheme] is to include schools that represent a range of management types; a geographical spread, involving rural and urban schools; large and small schools; and a number of different specialist curricular areas.” However the shortlist includes no schools in the Southern Education Board area – map here – and only covers 6 of the listed 15 specialisms.The Irish News reports that 46 schools applied for inclusion in the Pilot and out of the list of 15 specialisms, with another to be considered, for which post-primary schools were invited to apply for the Pilot as a specialist school in, only 6 specialisms are covered by the shortlist of 13 schools

The list of possible specialisms was given in September 2005 as –

Specialisms for Northern Ireland Schools

Arts (performing, visual or media, drama)
Art and Design
Business and Enterprise
Health and Social Care
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Leisure and Tourism
Mathematics and Computing
NB: The specialism “Rural and Environmental Studies” is currently under consideration and may be added to the list above.

The Irish News reports here[reg req] that there were applications to specialise in art and design, mathematics, sport, technology and health and social care but they were all rejected.

Although there doesn’t appear to any official press release yet, the shortlist of 13 schools along with the specialism they have selected, as reported today by the Irish News, is –

St Malachy’s College Belfast – Music

Ashfield Girl’s High School, Belfast – Information and Communication Technology [ICT]

Belfast Model School for Girls – ICT

Glengormley High – ICT

Ballyclare High – ICT

Limavady High – Performing arts

St Cecilia’s College, Derry – Performing arts

St Loiuse’s Comprehensive, Belfast – Performing arts

St John’s High School, Western Education and Library Board [WELB] area – Business and enterprise

Carrickfergus Grammar – Business and enterprise

Shimna Integrated College, Newcastle – Languages

St Mary’s College, WELB area – Science

Lumen Christi College, Derry – Science

reasons to be cheerful