The Plan will cover the five year period 1 September 2022 to 31 August 2027.
Proposals which the Minister expects to be addressed include:
- the issue of primary pupils being taught in composite classes of more than two year groups;
- dealing with post-primary schools that are failing to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for pupils in years 8-12; and
- the issue of small sixth forms.
Michelle McIlveen stated: “While there has been some progress in Area Planning since its inception in 2011, significant challenges remain and we need to improve further and at a greater pace.
“As we look forward to the next Area Plan, my principal aim continues to be to give our children and young people the best start in life and to offer every learner an opportunity to achieve their full potential at each stage of development.
“The Plan will help deliver my, and my Department’s, commitment to the New Decade New Approach suite of actions that will contribute to addressing pressures in the Education system. It will also deliver quick results in terms of improved efficiency and effectiveness of the system – Area Planning is key to addressing this.”
A copy of the statement is available on the Department's website - www.education-ni.gov.uk/publications/ministerial-statement-setting-priorities-next-regional-area-plan-9-august-2021