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  • Pupils from the North allowed to re-sit English exam following review » Inside Ireland
    by John O Dowd The review was ordered following the results for this year s exams for 16 year olds GCSEs The Minister said concern was raised by a number of schools locally about some of the results received by pupils who had taken English and English Language with the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance AQA I have now received the final report from CCEA said John O Dowd While the overall picture may not raise general concerns analysis at school level indicates issues with results in a significant number of schools the Minister added In August English newspapers carried stories of complaints surrounding AQA s GCSE English paper where grade boundaries appeared to have been dramatically raised compared with previous assesments According to the Telegraph in one controlled assesment task set by AQA in January pupils needed just 54 per cent to gain a C grade But pupils taking a similar assesment in June needed to secure 66 per cent for the same mark the paper stated According to the Stormont Minister for many pupils in Northern Ireland studying AQA GCSE English grade outcomes were not in line with schools predictions or in line with last year s outcomes For this reason I have decided that pupils who wish to re sit their examination will be given the opportunity to do so at an early stage the Minister confirmed The Minister added that details will be communicated directly to schools in the coming weeks Comments Comments are closed Latest Education and Training Recruitment begins for almost 100 PhD positions at SFI Software Research Centre at UL Recruitment has begun for almost 100 PhD positions at the Science Foundation Ireland Irish Software Research Centre at the University of Limerick Online petition calling on Ulster University to reverse its decision to close

    Original URL path: http://insideireland.ie/2012/10/10/pupils-from-the-north-allowed-to-re-sit-english-exam-following-review-80278/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Widening Participation strategy is ‘good news for all future students and for our education system’ says umbrella body » Inside Ireland
    Ireland has the highest participation rate of any area of the United Kingdom in higher education There remain some stubborn pockets of underrepresentation from low participation high deprivation areas and I am committed to developing further our approach to widening participation in Northern Ireland This is based on a future vision of the sector in which the people who are most able but least likely to participate are given every encouragement and support to achieve the necessary qualifications to apply to and benefit from higher education said Dr Farry The Minister said that the new strategy includes projects aimed at raising the awareness aspiration and educational attainment of students from disadvantaged backgrounds the development and piloting of programmes for disadvantage and disability application routes into higher education and additional support measures for students to sustain continuing participation in higher education For their part the higher education institutions will be expected to offer tailored support for these targeted individuals My Department will make funding available to expand the range of aspiration and attainment raising programmes at schools colleges and in the community and the workplace All institutions offering higher education courses will be encouraged to offer community outreach programmes designed to raise the educational attainment levels of students to enable entry to higher education The leader of the umbrella body for student unions in the North Adrianne Peltz has said the Widening Participation strategy launched today by Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry is good news for all future students and for our education system This is an important and very welcome strategy the NUS USI President said This positive progress is a real boost for students and provides recognition of the massive importance of widening access If everything that is contained in this strategy is progressed and implemented government should be able to ensure that everyone has a fairer chance of going to university Making ends meet still remains a very significant barrier to third level education for a considerable number of people and we will continue to work to improve the whole spectrum of financial support available for students however this strategy is good news for students and it is a positive day for the higher education sector Ms Peltz added The Minister added that institutions must ensure that their widening access and participation support is clearly set out and publicly available and that students are advised of that support for the whole duration of their course before they begin their studies I am committed to ensuring that any qualified individual in Northern Ireland should be able to gain access to higher education that is right for them irrespective of their personal or social background Working together in partnership I believe we can achieve this Dr Farry concluded Comments Comments are closed Latest Education and Training Recruitment begins for almost 100 PhD positions at SFI Software Research Centre at UL Recruitment has begun for almost 100 PhD positions at the Science Foundation Ireland Irish Software Research Centre at the

    Original URL path: http://insideireland.ie/2012/09/11/widening-participation-strategy-is-good-news-for-all-future-students-and-for-our-education-system-says-umbrella-body-79298/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Poots’ decision to cut nursing bursary condemned » Inside Ireland
    non means tested bursaries President of NUS USI Adrianne Peltz said This announcement is absolutely catastrophic and so is the timing of it People are about to commence their courses in the coming days and they now face this financial bodyblow This announcement is a disaster for nursing and midwifery students Pre empting this criticism Edwin Poots said I realise the reduction in the non means tested bursary may be disappointing for some students enrolling in the 2012 13 year However I remain fully committed to supporting our student nurses and midwives in their training and my Department will continue to fund training for Health and Social Care Students I must balance this though against the ongoing need to ensure value for money and sustainability in bursary provision The changes to the student nurses and midwifery bursary scheme will mean potential savings of around 2 2million over a three year period for the health service the Health Minister said But the NUS USI President added Imagine a wage cut of almost 15 and the impact that this would have on people s ability to make ends meet This is what is happening as regards every new nursing student here They will contribute so much to our heath service through the massive number of hours they will work in our hospitals during their work placements This is essentially a massive wage cut for them Also the fact that the Minister is abolishing the much valued book and uniform allowance brings into even sharper focus the massive financial pressure that new nursing and midwifery students will now face This announcement will have thrown into turmoil the plans of students who are starting nursing and midwifery courses in the next few days and weeks and now face this devastating cut in their bursary Ms Peltz said The Minister had been responding to consultation proposals on the future funding of nursing and mid wifery students The Minister said he approved the consultation proposals to reduce the basic non means tested bursary for students entering training from 2012 NUS USI said however It appears that the massive concerns of students have not been taken in to account during the consultation process as this cut and the abolition of these allowances have been implemented in full as stated in the consultation document Sinn Féin have also condemned the decision to cut the basic non means tested bursary Health Spokesperson Sue Ramsey said that the announcement that the bursaries for student nurses are to be cut by 15 and that book and uniform grants are to be scrapped is a severe blow to those students about to embark on their professional training Ms Ramsey said Every year we see shortages of experienced nurses and midwifes right across the medical profession so it is important that those enrolling as students are given as much support as possible The financial saving of about 700 000 per year is minuscule in comparison to the wages paid to senior management of

    Original URL path: http://insideireland.ie/2012/09/07/poots-decision-to-cut-nursing-bursary-condemned-79199/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Thousands across North receive GCSE Results with increase in overall pass rate » Inside Ireland
    hoping for and I would urge those young people not to panic Your teachers parents and careers advisers are all there to guide and support you and they can help you decide on what career and study options are available to you While there are many success stories on a day like this we cannot afford to be complacent In 2010 11 9 369 young people left school without achieving five good GCSEs including English and Maths While that number has dropped from 12 000 in 2005 06 it is still far too high and I intend to do all I can to tackle this Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry said If you did not achieve the results you had hoped for there are many other opportunities available to you and I would urge you to examine these fully My Department s Careers Service can help you unlock your potential Careers Advisers are located across Northern Ireland and offer free impartial advice and guidance on the options available Careful consideration should be given to these as they are the first step towards achieving a fulfilling career Dr Farry outlined the other options available for young people following the results Northern Ireland s further education colleges also offer you the opportunity to study from a wide range of full time courses to suit your career path with options including A Levels GCSE NVQ Apprenticeships and BTEC First and National Qualifications You may want to consider an apprenticeship where you have the opportunity to develop specialist skills using new technology giving you the chance to learn and gain qualifications that are recognised worldwide Training for Success can also provide you with an opportunity to gain the skills necessary for employment letting you enter at the level that matches your needs develops your employability skills and allows you to gain nationally recognised qualifications The CBI the British equivalent of IBEC and the UK s leading business organisation has welcomed the results particularly the continued strong performance in the number of pupils receiving A C grades in all three sciences Kirsty McManus Assistant Director CBI Northern Ireland said The CBI was however concerned at reports in the Northern Ireland media yesterday that showed that almost half of school leavers are failing to achieve good A C grades in the core subjects of English and Maths Undoubtedly it is paramount for employers of all types that young people have high standards of literacy and numeracy and we would urge a renewed focus on this over the coming years so as to enable Northern Ireland to better compete economically in the global marketplace in the future The Assistant Director added The CBI has long held the view that our long term economic needs will be better met by a young population who have more and more qualifications in the STEM subjects Today s strong performances in these subjects as well as the upward trend in entries for STEM subjects with the exception of a

    Original URL path: http://insideireland.ie/2012/08/23/thousands-across-north-receive-gcse-results-with-increase-in-overall-pass-rate-78933/ (2016-02-11)
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  • UU offers all 370 places to applicants after all » Inside Ireland
    error who had applied to the School of Engineering Professor Richard Millar Dean of the Faculty of Computing and Engineering said in a statement The Faculty and School has now had an opportunity to review each individual case For all students for whom we have a complete set of examination results we are able to honour the offer made These decisions are being communicated to the individual students through UCAS and we expect them to be confirmed on UCAS the equivalent of the CAO TRACK by Sunday evening The University wishes to reassure applicants that the information recorded on UCAS TRACK is and has always been accurate There remain 20 students for whom the School has not yet received the full set of examination results Decisions on these students will be taken as soon as this information is available In the light of the extra student numbers we are now admitting the University will put in place additional teaching and pastoral support As a consequence of this decision the University is likely to overshoot its MaSN cap and may face a financial penalty The Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Barnett said The University is grateful for the understanding shown by the DEL Minister Dr Stephen Farry and will be in discussions with him and his officials Once again the University apologises for the anxiety and distress that has been caused to any of our applicants and their families The Minister for Employment and Learning Stephen Farry had said on Friday that he had spoken to the Vice Chancellor to express his concerns and to discuss how the problem can be most effectively addressed The Minister said My Department will do all we can to assist however we need UU to clearly establish the precise extent of the problem and how they intend to address it and after that to ensure that a similar incident will not happen again Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff had also called on the University of Ulster to immediately clarify to individual students whether they have or haven t been offered places at the campus Speaking before Saturday s decision Mr McElduff said Not only has this caused immense disappointment amongst the students but also created uncertainty and confusion as to who is actually going to be offered a place at the university The University of Ulster needs to clarify to the students immediately at to which offer is genuine and make sure this will not be allowed to happen again The response to the criticisms of the uncertainty came on Saturday with the confirmation from the University This means that all applicants that received the congratulatory email in error from the Faculty and for whom the University has a full set of examination results are now having their place in the University confirmed Comments Comments are closed Latest Education and Training Recruitment begins for almost 100 PhD positions at SFI Software Research Centre at UL Recruitment has begun for almost 100 PhD positions at the Science

    Original URL path: http://insideireland.ie/2012/08/19/uu-offers-all-370-places-to-applicants-after-all-78811/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Schoolbooks.ie must ‘get its act together; says Fine Gael TD » Inside Ireland
    already been paid It has been brought to my attention that many parents who have placed orders with schoolbooks ie and have paid substantial sums of money for their children s school books have been left hanging for several weeks without their orders being filled the Dun Laoghaire Deputy said Ms Mitchell O Connor told of problems in communicating with the comapny Any attempts to contact the company have been in vain Many of these parents are extremely anxious not only about getting their children s school books organised as the beginning of the school year draws near but also about what exactly is going on with the company and whether or not their hard earned cash has been lost Schoolbooks ie appears to have a good reputation among parents who have used the service in the past Many parents cite the speed and ease of delivery as the reason for using them again However this year the company s approach seems to be very different with no attempts being made whatsoever to contact customers and to dispel their fears about the cause of the delay I attempted to contact the company myself today and to add insult to injury their phoneline is ringing out and there is no answering message to indicate what is going on the Fine Gael Deputy said The Deputy said that most of the parents had been none the wiser as to whether or not their money has been lost to a company that has gone bust Responding to the criticisms the online company s managing director John Cunningham read a statment which said Schoolbooks ie would like to apologise to any customers currently experiencing a delay in receiving their school books This delay has been caused by a technical issue at our warehouse which resulted in a significant backlog of orders which we are working to clear In addition to our regular 50 strong team we have brought in 30 extra staff and are now working 24 hours a day seven days a week to clear the backlog No families will be left without schoolbooks for the start of the school term We have processed and delivered 50 000 school book orders to customers to date and we currently have a backlog of 5 000 orders Half of these will be dispatched by Tuesday and we will have the remaining orders issued to customers by the end of the week Again we will ensure that no one is left without their school book order Focussing on the issue of poor communication highlighted in the complaints Mr Cunnigham said I am aware that our communication with customers over the past numbers of weeks has been far from satisfactory but our focus has been on clearing the backlog Over the past 48 hours all affected customers have been emailed to advise them when their order will be dispatched over the coming week We will have this backlog cleared by Friday Again can I apologise for any

    Original URL path: http://insideireland.ie/2012/08/19/schoolbooks-ie-must-get-its-act-together-says-fine-gael-td-78793/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Some 83.5% of students in the North get grades A*- C as A-Level results published » Inside Ireland
    of grades awarded at A E this year Stormont Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry and Education Minister John O Dowd visted Lagan College in Belfast to congratulate students on their results Stephen Farry reminded those students whose plans have been affected by the results that help is at hand My Department s Careers Service has a team of professionally qualified Careers Advisers offering free impartial careers information advice and guidance to young people and adults the Minister said Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Chris Hazzard said that it is important that third level education is accessible and affordable to all members of society I am however concerned that although we will see more young people receive top grades less and less will be able to take up the option of third level education due to the huge costs involved Mr Hazzard said The President of the umbrella body for student unions in the North NUS USI President Adrianne Peltz has called on the the Northern Ireland Executive to stop their proposed drastic cuts for health bursaries and Education Maintenance Allowance Ms Peltz said There are thousands of young people getting results around Northern Ireland at this time They should be very proud of their achievements and they have hopes and dreams of their career ahead These dreams could lie in tatters for many people if the cuts which are proposed for EMA and health bursaries are implemented It is absolutely essential that adequate financial support is provided to enable people to continue in education or training and reach their potential The umbrella body for the UK s businesses the CBI has welcomed the growth in numbers studying science and maths in schools across Northern Ireland as these subjects are critical to the future success of our economy CBI Northern Ireland Director Nigel Smyth said For people who choose not to go on to university businesses offer a wide range of vocational training options such as apprenticeships and school leaver direct entry schemes which are hugely valuable and well respected in the work place For students in the North applying for universities in Britain they may have to go through the Clearing system The British University and College Union said that the British government s failure to fund sufficient university places would leave thousands facing admissions heartache UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said On the day we should be celebrating the achievements of our young people the government s failure to fund sufficient university places means thousands will be left disappointed By restricting numbers and making access to university more expensive the government is effectively closing the door on a generation of young people who have been told all their lives to aspire to university Ms Hunt said The Department of Education and Learning in Northern Ireland has advised students with any concerns on the way ahead in general to call 0300 200 7820 or log on to the www nidirect gov uk results to access a wealth of useful

    Original URL path: http://insideireland.ie/2012/08/16/some-some-83-5-of-students-in-the-north-get-grades-a-c-as-a-level-results-published-78693/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Minister Quinn congratulates Leaving Certificate students amid calls for reform by Fianna Fáil » Inside Ireland
    avenue into the next stage of your life While many will be awaiting the CAO announcements next week I would also encourage those who may be disappointed with their results today to seriously consider the other options available to them such as further education level 5 and 6 FETAC awards These offer fantastic opportunities and also an alternative route to higher education if that is your wish The Minister went to Calasanctius College in Oranmore Co Galway to meet with teachers and students receiving their results on Wednesday morning ASTI President Gerry Breslin sent his message of congratulations to the students receiving their Leaving Cert results today Mr Breslin said While we often hear stories about the high fliers the Leaving Cert results are about celebrating the unique talents interests abilities and commitment of each and every Leaving Cert student These students have reached a significant milestone in their lives While these are challenging times there are many opportunities out there and I would encourage students to take the time to explore all their options in the days and weeks ahead Mr Breslin also mentioned the cuts to the education budget This September students will experience another tranche of cutbacks which will mean less subject choice and less guidance counselling in schools At a time when having the right education for the current labour market and for the development of life skills is so crucial young people need access to the best possible career advice and the opportunity to study subjects in their Leaving Cert that suit their interests and abilities and that will lead to future job opportunities Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education and Skills Charlie McConalogue added his congratulations to the students today It s a very important day for them after two years preparing for the exams I would encourage students to take the time to look carefully at their options for further education now I am delighted to see the positive effect that Project Maths and the additional bonus CAO points are having on the numbers sitting higher level maths Since it was first rolled out in September 2010 Project Maths has shown promising results with more students opting to take the higher level maths exam and increased student engagement with the subject Deputy Mc Conalogue s main concern was on the number of third level places available There must be a sufficient number of third level places available for students and they are able to get places on courses If points increase dramatically then more places need to be put on stream Last year Minister Quinn promised leaving certificate reform which would tackle the points race and the pressure that this puts on students but so far this has amounted to nothing more than hot air The Minister himself also added his tribute to the parents families teachers and school communities who have helped the students achieve this milestone today I also wish to thank the State Examinations Commission for its work in ensuring the

    Original URL path: http://insideireland.ie/2012/08/15/minister-quinn-congratulates-leaving-certificate-students-amid-calls-for-reform-by-fianna-fail-78661/ (2016-02-11)
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