School open nights provide essential information

Parents with pupils transferring to post-primary schools will now be considering attending school open nights.

Open nights provide the opportunity for parents and pupils to view the school, meet the teachers and ask questions on the subject choices and the increased number of courses being offered under the Entitlement Framework.

The Entitlement Framework became statutory in September 2013, giving all pupils access to a minimum of 18 courses at Key Stage 4 and 21 at post-16.

Speaking about the policy, Education Minister John O’Dowd said: “The Entitlement Framework is one of my key policies for raising standards and closing the achievement gap and I am committed to engaging with pupils and parents to generate a better understanding about how they can benefit from it.

“The focus is firmly on the pupil and regardless of the school they attend or the area they live in; all pupils should have increased access to courses or subjects. Every pupil is different and choices they make should be well informed to reflect individual interests, aptitudes and future job prospects.”

Continuing, the Minister said: “Pupils stand the best chance of succeeding if they follow courses that interest and inspire them. The flexibility offered by the Entitlement Framework means that schools can respond to the needs of young people and the economy, while continuing to develop skills such as creativity, entrepreneurship, problem-solving and working with others, in addition to the fundamentals of literacy, numeracy and ICT.”