November 15 In the Press

ETI Inspection Report gives Markethill High School lots of reasons to celebrate


By Eleanor McGillie

MARKETHILL High School’s staff and pupils are celebrating the findings in its latest inspection report which highly commends the school for its achievements and standards, leadership and management, provision of education and the strong role in which the school plays in the community.

Inspectors from the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) spent four days at the school where they observed lessons, met with representatives from the Board of Governors, staff, groups of pupils and provided parents, teaching and support staff with the opportunity to liaise with them through a questionnaire.

The report, which was published last week, examined the achievements and standards in the school. It praised pupils for displaying ‘high levels of confidence and maturity’ in their learning and highly commended their engagement in all learning opportunities. It also reflected how proud pupils are of their school and described their behaviour in and out of the classroom as ‘exemplary’.

Inspectors found the standard achieved in public exams is a ‘significant strength’ of the school and praised the school for being ‘consistently well above the average for similar non-selective schools’ for the percentage of pupils achieving five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C. Continuing its commendation the inspectors reported that the outcomes in most GCSE subjects, at grades A*-C, are in line with, or well above, the three year Northern Ireland average.

The report also highlights that the progression of pupils to further education is ‘well above’ the Northern Ireland average which inspectors say demonstrates the high quality of the school’s overall provision. Inspectors documented that 34 per cent of pupils go to another school after GCSE, while 65 per cent go on to full time further education and the remaining one per cent go into full time training.

Markethill High School and the community have been campaigning to get a new build school and a sixth form provision so its pupils are not forced to go elsewhere but can continue to benefit from the strong education provision at Markethill High School which is praised in the ETI report.

James Maxwell, Principal of Markethill High School, said: “Staff, pupils and Governors of Markethill High School are absolutely delighted the ETI have confirmed what we know already – that Markethill High School is a ‘very good school’. It is not only successful but it is sustainable and is oversubscribed  again this year.

“This fantastic Inspection report and the commendation recently by the Education Minister, John O’Dowd, that Markethill High School is one of 11 schools successfully breaking the link between social disadvantage and educational outcomes, means our Governors can confidently say that now is the time for the Education Minister to act on his pledge to allow successful, popular and oversubscribed schools to grow further.  We want and deserve a new build school on the Mowhan Road site and we also warrant a sixth form provision so the 99 per cent of our pupils who want to continue their education, can do so here.”

The report praised the planning, teaching, learning and assessment at the school as ‘very good or outstanding’. The peer-to-peer support, the pastoral care, the literacy vision, the home-school links, the collaboration with other education providers, the development of the senior management team and the leadership of Mr Maxwell are all elements which have been commended.

The report said parents, staff and the school community can have a ‘high degree of confidence’ in the effectiveness of both leadership and Governance.

It stated: “Markethill High School reaches out to and plays an important role in community life. Parents and other members of the wider community make very good use of the school’s facilities for a variety of educational and recreational activities.”



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’.

  • January 2012 – Markethill High School – winners of a £4,000 prize fund for the best Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics project application to develop those subjects with Year 9 pupils.
  • In May 2012 Markethill High School was announced the British Academy Award Winner for the Best School in Northern Ireland for Modern Languages, with an award of £4,000. The school is shortlisted to the final three schools for the title of Best School in the United Kingdom for the delivery of Modern Language education.
  • In May 2012 – Laura Marshall in Year 11 was awarded the outstanding title of Northern Ireland’s Young Entrepreneur of the Future
  • For the second year running, in June 2012, Jonathan Armstrong in Year 12 was named the Southern Regional College student of the Year as a result of his work on the Schools’ Partnership Programme studying Occupational Studies
  • In November 2012, Markethill High School win Euroscola Programme
  • For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd (McGillie Media & PR Ltd) on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 Agriculture PR | Education PR | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism UK | Brand Journalism Experts

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