There will be 30-45 minutes presentation on the findings of the Small School Rural Community study, i.e. what the five case studies have found in relation to the challenges facing the schools and the advantages in terms of their relationship with their communities. This will be followed by one-hour panel discussion on the future of these schools and the findings of the study. Panellists will include key stakeholders in this debate, including a rural school principal, a retired inspector, a representative of a rural community organisation, and education policy-makers. The event will take place in Riddel Hall and will be face-to-face. There will be a few minutes dedicated to take questions from the audience to be answered by the panel and the researchers.
The event will be about small rural primary schools in Northern Ireland, their relationship with the community and their potential future. This is a current topic, as news have recently featured the closure plans that some of these schools are facing because of the implementation of area planning policies. The close relationship with their communities is often given as a reason for stopping these plans. The importance of the role of small rural schools in a divided society should not be overlooked either. This event will bring light into this topic within the context of the ongoing Independent Review of Education, which is reviewing the future of NI schools.
Professor Carl Bagley, Professor of Education Sociology in the School of Social, Sciences, Education and Social Work in Queen’s University Belfast and Principal Investigator of the Study, and Dr Montserrat Fargas-Malet, Research Fellow in the study, will lead the event.
Anyone is welcome to attend.
It will be of particular interest to anyone interested in rural schools, specially, educational professionals such as principals and teachers, rural community groups, and policy-makers.