Education groups' views sought on schools and skills development

Education groups are being invited to respond to issues around schools and skills development in the Programme for Government.

The consultation has been established by the Education Minister Richard Bruton in order to inform a new three-year strategy in his department, in keeping with a commitment that it be developed within the first 100 days of the programme’s agreement.

He has sent details to 230 stakeholders in the education system and has asked for responses by June 8.

The stakeholders are being asked to comment on the approach to each of eight priority areas for education in the Programme for Government.

Those areas are the prioritisation of early years education; tackling disadvantage; diversity and choice for parents; promoting excellence and innovation in schools; promoting students’ creativity and entrepreneurial capacity; making better use of educational assets in communities, special needs education; and meeting future skills needs.

In an email which was issued to stakeholders, Mr Bruton says that the Strategy for Education and Skills 2016-2018 will be informed by the Government programme.

It aims, he said, to advance the transformation of the education system to support the principles of the programme in developing a strong economy, so as to support a fair and compassionate society.

“The Government’s basic vision is to use our economic success to make people’s lives better.

“No area of the Government’s work is more vital to this mission than education,” he wrote in the email.

“In no area of the Government’s work do we have more capacity to improve our society and make people’s lives better — most importantly, for the children, students, and life-long learners who depend on our services,” he said.

As well as giving their views on whether other issues under each heading should be taken into account, participants in the consultation are being asked how progress should be measured.

They are also requested to identify priority actions, and outcomes for each priority area.

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