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Good Practice Event - Essential Skills - 24 June 2016 Posted on 24/06/2016 00:00:00 This event took place on Friday 24 June 2016 and was aimed at sharing good practice from the Essential Skills Change Fund project which ran during the current academic year. The event was held in Riddel Hall, Belfast.

The conference programme is attached: Programme

Post Event Information

Links to reports

A number of reports where referenced during the conference.  As these become available they will be uploaded to this website.

  • Evaluation of the Essential Skills initiative published 24 June 2016 by ETI  - click Evaluation Report

More reports to be added - watch the space below........

  • Interim evaluation report (NISRA)  - to be added

Evaluation Form 
Did you complete your form at the event? If not - feel free to download Evaluation Form and return via email to: Karen Lennon

Presentations by key speakers
To access simply click on links below*:
* Please note - Justin Edwards, Stephen Creber and Mark Huddleston did not present slides

Workshop presentations
To access simply click on links below:

During the event - a video highlighting interviews with students and staff involved in the pilot was played.  To view click: Video

Photos from the event

Background to the project

In 2015 the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL), now the Department for the Economy (DfE) jointly with the Department of Education (DE) sought to develop and build upon an innovative project which has been trialed in a mainstream post-primary school in conjunction with a local Further Education College. The proposal was to deliver Essential Skills courses offered in the Further Education Colleges to school pupils who are following GCSE courses in the academic year and who have been identified by their school as at risk of being unlikely to achieve at least a grade C in GCSE in English, and/or Maths, but having the potential to achieve a level-2 qualification in these subjects; and to bring together FE tutors and school teachers to develop pedagogy.  Funding was secured from the NI Executive Change Fund for one year (2015/2016) to undertake this innovative project.

The Department for the Economy (DfE) and Department of Education (DE) took forward the project whereby Further Education (FE) colleges developed and delivered models of provision of Essential Skills in schools, with the overall aim of addressing underachievement in GCSE English and Maths. 
The aims of the project were to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of pupils through:

  • the development of tailor-made provision which supports pupils are at risk of not obtaining at least a Grade C in GCSE English and / or Maths
  • improved delivery of education services which builds on teacher professional development, develops pedagogy and promotes the sharing of best practice by FE tutors and school teachers. 

This event is aimed at sharing good practice from the first year of the project - which has involved all 6 FE Colleges along with 17 post primary schools. 

Overview of the event

The conference programme is attached: Programme

In summary the event involved a panel discussion, a series of workshops (delegate had a choice of 2 out of 4 workshops) as well as a number of key speakers.  The key speakers were:

  • Gerard Devlin, Project Manager, Southern Regional College (SRC) 
  • Justin Edwards, CEO, CCEA
  • Stephen Creber, Principal Brownlow Integrated College
  • Emma Annett, Quality Improvement Unit, Department for the Economy
  • Dr Lorna Warren, ETI
  • Dr Joan Ritchie, NISRA, Human Resource Consultancy Services
  • Mark Huddleston, NI Commissioner for Employment and Skills.

The compere for the event was Aidan Browne - TV presenter and Curriculum Development Manager at BMC.

Essential Skills Refresh Materials  - to be added
Essential Skills Refresh Materials  - to be added
Essential Skills Refresh Materials  - to be added