Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Movilla High School put in formal intervention by Department of Education

Under pressure: John O'Dowd

Another controlled school has been placed in an improvement programme by the Department of Education.

As pressure mounts on the Education Minister to set up a controlled sector support body, it has emerged that inspectors have rated Movilla High School in Newtownards, whose percentage of pupils entitled to free school meals is double the Northern Ireland average, as inadequate.

It is the second controlled school in the area to be placed in formal intervention, alongside Dundonald High.

Inspectors deemed the overall performance, achievements and standards, provision and management and leadership as inadequate.

However, they did acknowledge the challenges faced by the non-selective post-primary school.

Those included an increase in the number of pupils entitled to free school meals (38.2%) and a rise in the number of pupils requiring additional support with learning and attendance levels which are below the Northern Ireland average.

Another issue highlighted was on entry to Year 8, the percentage of pupils attaining level four or above in English and Maths is "well below the Northern Ireland average".

Inspectors also described the accommodation at Movilla High as "poor and not conducive to learning".

In 2013 just 15.3% of pupils achieved five GCSEs including English and Maths at grades A* to C.

Although this is up for a third consecutive year, it is still below the Northern Ireland average.

The Education and Training Inspectorate will continue to monitor the school over the next year.

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