What is area planning?

Area Planning is the process of strategic planning for primary, special and post-primary schools.

Strategic Area Plan 2022-27: Planning for Sustainable Provision
Special Education Strategic Area Plan 2022-27: Planning for Special Education Provision

The Education Authority collaborated with the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools as the planning authority for Catholic maintained schools, and engaged with sectoral support bodies representative of the Integrated (Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education), Irish Medium (Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta) and controlled sector (Controlled Schools’ Support Council) and engaged with Voluntary Grammar Schools and their Trustees, through the Governing Bodies Association and Catholic Schools’ Trustee Service and other maintained schools (ie church schools) through the Transferor Representatives’ Council, in the development of the Plans.  Account was also taken of the contribution that FE Colleges make to the delivery of the 14-19 Curriculum offer. 

Strategic Area Plan 2022-27: Planning for Sustainable Provision

Aim

To ensure that all primary and post-primary pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum that meets their educational needs in a school that is educationally and financially viable and sustainable. 

Vision

All children will have access to a high quality educational experience, through a broad and balanced curriculum that meets their needs, in educationally and financially viable schools, within a diverse system of education.

Mission

The Area Plan will focus on improving educational provision for all pupils.  To do this Area Planning will:

  • address school provision which is not educationally and/or financially sustainable; 
  • explore realistic, innovative, shared and collaborative solutions with a view to ensuring there is a viable and sustainable level of quality educational provision;
  • aim to find solutions which deliver sustainable education provision in rural areas; and
  • address issues and challenges specific to local areas, by ensuring there are sufficient places which may result in increasing places in some areas while reducing places in others.

Thus, providing a network of viable and sustainable schools that are of the right type, the right size, located in the right place at the right time with a focus on raising standards.

Key Themes

  • Increase parity of access for all to appropriate pathways
  • Promote cooperation, collaboration and sharing across all sectors
  • Maximise resources and sustainability
  • Inform strategic infrastructure planning and investment

Special Education Strategic Area Plan 2022-27: Planning for Special Education Provision

Aim

The aim of Area Planning for Special Schools and Specialist Provision in Mainstream Schools is to ensure pupils have access to a placement that best meets the needs of children and young people with a Statement of Special Educational Needs.

Vision

All pupils in Special Schools and Specialist Provision in Mainstream Schools have the opportunity to achieve their full potential; by having the best educational experiences, equality of opportunity and pathways that meets their needs.

Mission

Focus on meeting the needs of children and young people with a Statement of Special Educational Need.  To do this we will provide:

  • availability at their nearest suitable special school/nearest suitable mainstream school with specialist provision;
  • pupils with equitable access to excellent provision and meets the individual needs of the child or young person;
  • pathways of provision for all ages and stages of development;
  • special school provision in a single 3-19 school or through collaborative 3-19 provision;
  • for changing educational, physical and medical needs;
  • for inclusivity, providing opportunities for education alongside mainstream peers.

Key Themes

  • Increase parity of access for all to appropriate pathways
  • Promote cooperation, collaboration and sharing between all Special Schools and Specialist Provision in Mainstream Schools across all sectors (as appropriate)
  • Maximise resources and capacity
  • Inform strategic infrastructure planning and investment
Last updated: 31/08/2022