The Education Authority (EA) has published its first Strategic Plan, which sets out the organisation’s vision to ‘inspire, support and challenge all children and young people to be the best that they can be’.
The interim Strategic Plan 2017-2027 outlines what EA will do over the next decade to achieve key goals, deliver consistently high-quality services to the community across Northern Ireland and produce positive outcomes for all children and young people.
It will be supported by a three-year Corporate Plan and annual business plans which will enable EA to incorporate new priorities and respond to new challenges as they arise. Introducing the new plan, EA Chairperson, Sharon O’Connor said:
“Education impacts all of us, our families and communities. This Strategic Plan is inclusive, comprehensive and will provide a framework for excellence in everything we do.”
“The Plan published today sets out EA’s vision to inspire, support and challenge all our children and young people to be the best that they can be.
“Our mission is to provide a high-quality education for every child. The Plan sets out key strategic priorities and the values which will guide the way we work, how we develop as an organisation and our decision-making at all levels.
“The strategic priorities include: meeting the learning needs of all our children and young people; providing excellent education support services; developing all our people; managing our resources effectively and efficiently; and, nurturing leadership across EA.
“We will endeavour to support governmental priorities in improving educational outcomes, reducing educational inequalities, improving child development and improving the quality of education and skills profile of the population.”
Since its creation in April 2015, EA has been engaged in a transition process bringing together the structures of the five Education and Library Boards into a single organisation. Following extensive engagement with stakeholders and public consultation, the EA interim Strategic Plan has been published.
Ms O’Connor highlighted the importance of the meaningful engagement with stakeholders which helped shape EA’s future direction.
“Over the last few years we have been working hard to ensure that transition from the former ELBs was successful and that vital services to schools and youth centres were unaffected.
“Our focus now turns to transformation. EA is committed to building an organisation that has a truly regional focus, is innovative and forward-looking and delivers excellent education services for all.
“The development of a comprehensive Strategic Plan will help deliver positive outcomes for children and young people across Northern Ireland.
“Extensive engagement with board members, staff, key education partners, school principals and young people helped shape the draft Strategic Plan, which has been further refined following the public consultation period.
“Our work impacts upon the lives of thousands of young people and their families every day. Their views and the views of a range of key stakeholder groups are of great value and importance to us and we appreciate each contribution received.”
The difficult financial situation continues to present significant challenges for EA as demand for services continues to grow at a time when budgets are under severe pressure.
“Change is essential and our Strategic Plan focuses on transforming services in a way which delivers and underpins a strong, resilient and world-class education system in Northern Ireland,” concluded Ms O’Connor.