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EA launches Area Planning Consultation

Education Authority launches Area Planning Consultation

The Education Authority (EA) today launched a consultation on Northern Ireland’s first regional area plan for school provision.

‘Providing Pathways 2017-2020’ sets out the future educational needs and challenges for Northern Ireland for the next three years and identifies proposals to ensure that all children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.

EA’s Director of Education John Collings said: “The Education Authority very much welcomes your views on the planning of a network of sustainable schools.

“The consultation document is entitled ‘Providing Pathways’ and its aim is to ensure that every child has access to an educational pathway that maximises the opportunity to reach their full potential. Every child has a right to a broad and balanced curriculum.

“The core purpose of area planning is to ensure a network of sustainable schools that are the right type, the right size and are located in the right place. Providing Pathways is the start of that process under the Education Authority.”

Providing Pathways replaces the area plans of the former Education and Library Boards (ELBs).

Mr Collings added: “Since the last area planning process, which was started by the ELBs in 2012, a single Education Authority for Northern Ireland has been established. This will ensure consistency of approach to the planning process across all areas and all school sectors.

“Unlike previous area plans, analysis of the future needs of special education is included and working with all school sectors is embedded in the process.

“In addition, 11 new local government districts have now been formed with responsibility for community planning. Providing Pathways will also contribute to the educational element of community plans.

“I would encourage everyone with an interest in education and the future of our young people to take part in this consultation.”

Providing Pathways Draft Strategic Area Plan for School Provision 2017-2020


The Education and Library Boards (ELBs) were dissolved on 31 March 2015. The Education Authority was established on 01 April 2015 and is now responsible for all of the operational functions previously carried out by the five ELBs in accordance with the Education Orders.

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