ETI encourages all in education to commit to ‘Stepping Up and Stepping Forward’

Date published: 18 October 2021

This week, the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) commences publication of its Learning Insights as part of the 'Stepping Up and Stepping Forward' series which draws on learning from the education and training system’s response to the pandemic.

Stepping Up and Stepping Forward heading banner.

Read or download here:

Stepping Up and Stepping Forward - Foreword

Stepping Up and Stepping Forward - Learning Insight 1 - Covid-19 has created additional risks to our young people’s emotional health and wellbeing; keeping them safe and well is our top priority

Stepping Up and Stepping Forward – Learning Insight 2 - We need to listen to, and understand better, the views of all learners; they have a right to a say in decisions that affect them

Stepping Up and Stepping Forward - Learning Insight 3 - Covid-19 had a greater impact on learners from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds than their peers; coherent multi-agency work can continue to meet their diverse range of needs

Stepping Up and Stepping Forward – Learning Insight 4 - Teachers’ commitment and innovation enabled learning to continue through the lockdowns; we need to invest further in their professional learning

Stepping Up and Stepping Forward – Learning Insight 5 - The system is working more collaboratively; creating innovative and purposeful networks supports learners

Stepping Up and Stepping Forward - Learning Insight 6 - Leaders responded admirably to Covid-19 by providing continuity of learning; they still face many challenges and require further support to continue to manage these effectively

Stepping Up and Stepping Forward - Learning Insight 7 - All learners require a curriculum that enables them to succeed; the capacity and flexibility of the Northern Ireland Curriculum is there to meet the needs of all learners

The ‘Stepping Up and Stepping Forward’ series of ten Learning Insights focuses on how well Northern Ireland’s education system is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges. It is informed by inspectors’ direct first-hand observation and collation of evidence from: their visits to schools and colleges as part of district engagement; and thematic evaluations, questionnaires, focus groups and interactions with practitioners across all education sectors.

Each of the Learning Insights acknowledges the exemplary efforts made by NI’s leaders and practitioners.  They discuss how we can all work more collaboratively to address the ongoing challenges.  

ETI also recognises that, since the start of the pandemic, educators have stepped up to meet the challenges and that parents and carers, as first educators, were integral to that success. The resilience and commitment of learners to their education – in spite of the challenges - has also been inspirational for all in education to witness.

The series presents and explores a range of topics designed to begin a system wide conversation on how we can step forward confidently and collectively, including: the additional risks to wellbeing posed by COVID-19; improving provisions by listening to, and acting upon learners’ views; increasing positive outcomes for learners by tackling educational disadvantage; the importance of support leaders and teachers through effective professional learning; working collaboratively to create purposeful networks; creating a curriculum that enriches experiences and life-chances; the need to unlock the use of new technologies and the implementation of an innovative and cross-sectoral strategy for Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG).

‘Stepping Up and Stepping Forward’ provides insights on how everyone who works in education can work more collaboratively over the next three years, allowing us to move forward confidently and optimistically in support of all learners. 

Education Minister, Michelle McIlveen said: “The Stepping Up Stepping Forward series of ten Learning Insights recognises the extensive efforts of educators and the resilience of parents and learners during the pandemic. They also present a compelling case of how we all can, and should, work more collaboratively to address the ongoing challenges.

“I am committed to stepping up and stepping forward, therefore I urge all those involved in education to stand together and pledge the same. Together, we will continue to prioritise  education by putting children and young people at the heart of what we do.”

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