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"To provide a pro-active quality support service
which promotes effective learning in all schools
through the professional development of teachers".

The Curriculum Advisory and Support Service has a statutory responsibility to provide curriculum advice and support to all schools with the Belfast education and Library Board. The service builds on the recognition that the professional development of teachers is an essential aspect of improving standards of achievement in education for all children and young people.

Paul Lawther
Assistant Senior Education Officer
Curriculum Advisory and Support Service

The Service seeks to enhance the individual and corporate professional development of all teachers through quality support programmes, which relate to their experience, expertise and teaching context.

A full range of school based and centre based support programmes are planned and delivered to address the following aspects of professional development:

  • The development needs of teachers as outlined in the Schools survey of needs process.
  • Professional support for teachers and schools arising from the N. Ireland School Improvement Strategy.
  • The E-learning/ICT needs of teachers resulting from the introduction of C2K.
  • The Implementation of the Northern Ireland educational technology strategy.
  • Professional development needs outlined in Inspection Reports.
  • The development and dissemination of Best practice in Learning and Teaching.
  • Strategic Professional Development issues arising from the implementation of the Revised N. Ireland Curriculum and its assessment arrangements.
  • Specific initiatives sponsored by officers and in collaboration with other agencies and partners.
  • Strategic interboard work related to school support services.
Core values

In its work and service to the education community to the School Support Service has identified its core values as:

  • Honesty/respect/integrity
  • Consistency and coherence
  • Professionalism
  • Valuing relationships and partnerships
  • Clear communication
  • Creativity/innovation
  • Excellence
  • Inclusitivity

The school support Service seeks to evidence these values in its work with Teachers, Schools and Partners.

The Range of School Support Services

The main services provided by the school support service are:

  • Literacy support services
  • Numeracy support services
  • ICT support services
  • Creative and expressive education support services
  • Technology and science support services
  • Languages and international links support services
  • Music support services
  • Religious education
  • Careers/health education/drug education support services
  • School support programme services
  • Environment and society support services
  • Learning and teaching improvement

This is not an exclusive list of the full range of associated services.

There is a clear need to harmonise and integrate core buisness of support services such as literacy, numeracy, ICT and school support programme services.

In order for the key objectives of these services to be met we must have adaptability, flexibility and cross-reference to both objectives and key processes.

The literacy, numeracy, ICT and school school programme services will therefore harmonise officer training, key delivery processes and ensure that a coherent and co-ordinated service is delivered to our clients.

Key Functions of the Service
  • To provide a high quality, accessible support service to all schools whcih will raise educational standards, based on key strategic plans.
  • To enhance the development of teachers.
  • To be proactive and consult with schools to discuss and address their needs, expectations and concerns, through effective communication and dissemination of information.
  • To recognise, initiate and disseminate research and development in the area of learning and teaching.
  • To support and advise on the development of a new curriculum and educational strategy form the 21st century.
  • To provide appropriate advice and guidance to the board and board committees on school support service issues.
  • To develop the professional competence and confidence of the school support team through a staff development plan.
  • To implement a service agreement with all schools which outlines school support service objectives and school commitments.
  • To further develop a system of service standards which is internally and externally validated such as Charter mark standard.
  • To contribute to the work of the school development service, pupil support service, youth/community services and other board services as required.
  • To produce an effective information and comminications system internally and with customers.

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