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Call to examine the world’s best school systems

Northern Ireland must look at school systems across the world to see how they secured and sustained improvement, teachers will be told tonight.

The issue of improving schools is due to be discussed at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) annual general meeting in Templepatrick.

The delegates will also be told that the education system here includes “the good, the bad and the ugly”.

Andy Brown, incoming UK president of the ATL, said our top performing students do very well but — at the other end of the scale — more than 41% of the workforce have achieved no qualifications at all. And he said that education remained scarred by sectarian as well as social segregation.

A lecture will be given tonight at the Hilton Hotel by Paul Sweeney, permanent secretary at the Department of Education, entitled Education globally, what works.

Another session will discuss the system of improvement found in Montgomery County, Maryland, US, which was visited by a delegation from Northern Ireland last year.

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