EA Transformation Programme Update (January 2020)

EA Transformation Programme: DE Funded Projects 2019/20

In 2018/19, proposals for nine EA-led projects/workstreams were approved by the DE Transformation Programme (DETP) Board.  Six of those nine were carried forward to 2019/20:

Project Title

What is it?

Engagement with schools so far

Education Technology Service

Development of a new managed education technology service to schools, replacing the current C2k platform from 2021/2022.

School consultation visits. Focus groups. Online surveys. Engagement with Nursery Schools and Units. Strategic Advisory and Technical Group (STAG) comprised of school representatives.

Strategic Review of Pupil Services


Review of existing NI-wide provision with a view to co-designing future service frameworks with stakeholders to maximise efficiency, effectiveness and accessibility, delivering best outcomes for the children and young people who use them.

Initial project planning is underway with DE. Substantive stakeholder engagement will begin once an agreed project plan is in place.

Review of Procurement of Minor Works and Maintenance

Establishment of a’ fit for purpose’ model for the procurement and delivery of EA’s Maintenance and Minor Works Services which supports the delivery of quality services to schools in the most innovative, cost effective and compliant manner.

Regional Principal engagement sessions
Standing Principal Reference Group comprised of 18 Principals, meeting every 3 months.
Questionnaire to all schools
School representation on project Board

Area Planning (Strand 1 of wider DE-led project “Delivering Schools for the Future”)

An accelerated programme of area planning in mainstream and special education aimed at increasing educational sustainability and collaborative working with CCMS.

The team has engaged with stakeholders across the schools.
wo seconded Principals embedded in the Area Based Planning team

EA Transformation Team

Part-funding of the team to provide technical assistance and expertise in delivering the programme

Two school leaders currently on the team. A school leader has been appointed as the Interim Head of the Transformation Team. Additional school leaders to be recruited 2019-2020.

Transforming Learning Through Technology

Provision of ICT software and hardware to children with sight/sensory challenges or learning difficulties to support pupils’ learning.

Software and hardware is currently being used in schools and a post project evaluation will be carried out later in the year.

EA Transformation Programme: Additional Bids 2019/20

EA has submitted four additional bids for funding. Although all four projects were scored favourably in the DETP appraisal process, a funding shortfall meant that none of the additional four EA bids has been approved. DE is hoping to source additional programme budget. In the meantime it is unclear which, if any, of these additional EA-led projects might be supported.

Project Title

What is it?

Engagement with schools so far

Whole school EH&WB implementation framework

The development of a wellbeing framework incorporating  whole school approach to support adults and children and young people in the school community, focussing on ‘joined up’ universal, preventative provision

Wellbeing strategy consultation events for school leaders

Mapping current provision in schools- ongoing liaison with school providers, mapping of school initiatives on social media and follow up discussions with volunteer school leaders.

Online Admissions Phase 2

Pre-school, Primary and Post-Primary applications completed online from 2021 intake. Allocation of places assisted by online School Portal. Lessons from Phase 1 to inform next steps.

Several focus groups including cross- sectoral, Nursery, Pre-School settings, Primary,  Post-Primary representatives as well as a school secretary/admin staff focus group

Review of the classroom assistant model

Review of the current model and examples of good practice, focussing on the development of a new model which streamlines current processes for schools and HR.

Project is still in concept stage

Online Learning Platform

A platform to provide online training for schools- particularly examples of mandatory/ compliance training such as Health and Safety.

Project is still in concept stage

Transformation Team Input to Other EA Projects 2019-2020

The Transformation Team has continued to provide technical assistance to all of the projects detailed above, as well as providing strategic support and school-facing expertise in a range of other transformative projects that are underway across EA without DETP funding. These include the following projects:

Project Title

What is it?

Engagement with schools so far

Development of a school improvement strategy

Development of an overarching School Improvement strategy, based on key pillars outlining areas of support for schools

School leaders- small and larger groups

Planned further engagement and co-production

EA One

An online recruitment, HR and Payroll solution for schools, aimed at reducing the bureaucratic burden and shortening the timescale for recruiting teaching and non-teaching staff.

User group including school leader and Governor representatives.

36 Awareness-raising sessions with school leaders Term 1 2019-2020

Data Profiling self-evaluation tool

A tool which brings all a school’s data into one interface. The data then links to self-evaluation prompts and is designed to assist school leaders in school development plans and self-evaluation

Groups of practitioners have been engaged in co-designing the tool.

Coaching for School Principals

A pilot programme designed to provide one to one coaching for school leaders

197 school leaders involved in the pilot, exceeding the initial planned 60 for the pilot. Principals have been divided into 3 cohorts,  with all 3 launch conferences now having taken place and Principals engaging at different stages of the pilot programme

‘Reaching Out’ Project

A scheme is being piloted to link EA and DE centre based staff with schools and other settings to aid professional development, communication and improved services to schools.

Structured pilot days in primary, post-primary and special school settings. 

EAtv videos have been produced to share with schools to show the benefits for leaders, teachers and pupils.

EA Transformation Programme: Communications Update

  • The EA Transformation Team is actively involved in a collaborative communications programme with DE and CCMS
  • In addition, the team has been involved in the various EA workstreams to improve communication between schools and EA.
    • Click here for the results of the recent EA Communication Survey completed by schools
    • Development of an improved Contact Model (coming soon) to improve access to support through a clear organisational structure and contact numbers
  • The EA Transformation Hub is now live on the EA website, providing stakeholders with updates across transformative work and facilitating direct engagement with the relevant project teams
  • The team has had input into the development of the forthcoming Locality Leadership Network
Last updated: 06/01/2020