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Essential Skills in Schools Initiative - Good Practice Event 2017 Posted on 19/06/2017 00:00:00 We are hosting an event to share the good practice emerging from this year's Essential Skills in Schools Initiative. It will take place Friday 16 June 2017 in Riddel Hall, Belfast.

Post Event Update

The above event had over 100 delegates in attendance.  
Copy of the programme

Some photos from the event are available at:

More info to be added this week....

Overview of Timings / Programme / Agenda

In summary the event will involve key speakers, a panel discussion and a series of workshops.

In terms of timings:
  • 09.00 Registration, tea, coffee, networking
  • 10.00 Conference commences with a number of key speakers
  • 12.10 First series of Workshops 
  • 13.00 Lunch 
  • 13.45 Second series of Workshops
  • 14.30 Main conference continues
  • 15.30 Close

The compere for the event is Aidan Browne (Curriculum Development Manager at Belfast Met). 

Key speakers include:
  • Gerard Devlin, SRC
  • Justin Edwards, CCEA
  • Maura McKee, DfE
  • Gareth Hetherington, Ulster University 
  • Terri McComiskey, CCEA Regulation
  • Dr Joan Ritchie, NISRA
  • Sam Davidson, Representing CBU
  • Dr Lorna Warren, DfE

There will also be a panel discussion with representatives three post-primary schools:
  • St Columbanus' College, Bangor
  • St Patrick's College, Maghera
  • St Mary's High School, Newry

Each delegate will be able to attend two workshops  (from a choice of four).  The workshops are as follows (with more details to follow):

Workshop details

  • Workshop 1 -  Planning for Learning / Diagnostics - the way forward 
  • Workshop 2 - Delivery of Learning / Integrated schemes of work
  • Workshop 3 - Evaluating Learning  / Formative and summative assessment
  • Workshop 4 - Technology for Learning / Curriculum alignment via technology enhanced learning 

Background to the project 

The Essential Skills in Schools project is aimed at addressing underachievement in GCSE English and mathematics, to ensure young people leaving school develop their English and mathematics skills to enable them to progress into work; their chosen career path and to widen their opportunities for further learning.

The successful outcomes from the 2015/16 project, which involved collaboration between six regional colleges and 18 post primary schools, established the need the 2016/17 project with findings and recommendations from both ETI and NISRA research implemented ahead of the new academic year.

The aims of the 2016/17 project are to improve the Literacy and Numeracy skills of pupils through:

  • The development of innovative tailored-made provision which supports pupils who are at the risk of underachieving to achieve Essential Skills qualifications at level 2 as a stepping stone to progress to and achieve a minimum of grade C in GCSE English and/or maths; and
  • Build on and enhance communication/collaboration between schools and colleges to improve delivery of education services that will help build on teacher professional development and the sharing of best practice by FE tutors and school teachers.

This year all six FE Colleges, funded by DfE, delivered a total of 69 Essential Skills Literacy and Numeracy classes to over 690 school pupils in 31 post-primary schools, including 13 schools from the first year of the initiative. Collaborative teaching of Essential Skills in Literacy and Numeracy and GCSE English and mathematics has provided an excellent opportunity to facilitate transfer of pedagogic best practice between tutors in FE colleges and teachers in post-primary schools.

The project recognises that for young people to be able to contribute positively to the economy, they need to acquire appropriate English and mathematical understanding, knowledge and skills. The Collegiality of Colleges and post primary schools demonstrates the commitment to ensuring that today’s young people are well positioned to contribute to the future of Northern Ireland’s economy and growth.  

Book a place

Online booking is now closed. To book a last minute place please Karen Lennon 02890 684952 or email

For online booking click Here


The event will be held in Riddel Hall, 185 Stranmillis Road, QUB, Belfast, BT9 5EE.  For directions to the venue click Here

More information

For more information please contact Karen Lennon or telephone 02890 684952.

Follow us on twitter #ESinSchools

Previous Event

For a link to the programme for the 2016 event please click  Here