January 4 Brand Journalism In the Press PR Northern Ireland

Markethill High School

Markethill High School hailed ‘one of the best’ for attendance ahead of Open Day

By Eleanor McGillie

Markethill High School has been identified as one of a few schools in Northern Ireland demonstrating outstanding levels of pupil attendance.

A case study, to be published by the Education and Training Inspectorate for Northern Ireland (ETI), reveals the attendance rate at Markethill High School is now at its highest.

In its case study, the ETI highlight a number of key factors which play a vital role in the school’s excellent attendance statistics, which have improved from 94 per cent in 2012/2013 to the current rate of 96.45 per cent.

James Maxwell, Principal of Markethill High School, believes the excellent attendance rate is one of the factors that is currently leading to the high level of student achievement at the school, currently one of the top three non-selective Controlled schools in the province for GCSE results.

He said: “Attendance is a priority here at Markethill High School and it remains at the top of the agenda in our School Development Plan. Furthermore, it is also key in our school’s pastoral system.”

The school, which currently offers 27 GCSE subjects in-house, will be revealing further details about the attendance statistics to parents at its forthcoming Open Night on Wednesday 13 January at 6:45pm.

Mr Maxwell said: “High expectations, the increased aspirations of pupils, a relentless focus on literacy and numeracy, positive changes to timetabling, an increased number of subjects, a new mentoring strategy and the introduction of an Honours System are all expected to further improve and sustain attendance rates and ultimately pupil achievement. These factors all align positively to whole school attendance.”

Mr Maxwell added that pupils at Markethill High School never forget the school’s ethos – Believe To Achieve – and he said the case study by ETI will be a further example of the school’s ethos in action.

He said: “At our prizegiving in November I spoke about how our pupils aspire to do well. I complimented our pupils on their diligence and I spoke highly of the determined dedication of our teaching and non teaching staff. All staff take ownership for their role in sustaining and improving the attendance rates and the senior leadership of the school regularly affirms and celebrates good work in this respect. The high level of attendance reinforces the clear strengths of our pastoral system, which has been identified as exemplary.

“As a school community we look forward to demonstrating to prospective pupils and their parents at our Open Night on January 13 that we continue to be a cornerstone school in the community in the Armagh City and District area.”

Last year’s Open Night at Markethill High School had a record number of prospective parents and pupils and, with its continued string of successes during 2015, including record exam results and winning the British Council International School Award, this year is expected to be another bumper year.




  • Markethill High School is a co-educational 11-16 Comprehensive School situated on a spacious site adjacent to the town. Since 1959 the school has been educating pupils of all abilities drawn from a wide geographical area. The school’s ethos is ‘Believe To Achieve’.
  • Markethill High School is the Best School in Northern Ireland for Modern Languages
  • In September 2013, The Minister for Education John O’Dowd congratulates Markethill High School for being one of 11 schools in Northern Ireland which successfully bridges the gap between social disadvantage and educational attainment
  • In October 2013 the ETI report that Markethill High School is a school of ‘very good practice’ and commends all aspects of school life
  • In November 2013 Harper Adams University in Ireland announces a collaboration with Markethill High School to lead the way in education in Northern Ireland by encouraging pupils to take up careers in agriculture
  • For further information or interview requests contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379| PR Northern Ireland | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Education PR | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism UK | Brand Journalism Experts

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