October 15 In the Press

Principal calls for positive decision on Sixth Form provision to be made

By Eleanor McGillie

THE Principal of Markethill High School is renewing his call to the SELB’s Chief Executive to make the right decisions on Sixth Form provision at Markethill High School.

Mr Maxwell was speaking to parents, pupils and staff at this year’s Key Stage 3 Prize Giving where he said ‘enough is enough’ and said he believes there is a discrepancy between the Maintained and the Controlled sector. This year Markethill High School celebrated its highest ever number of pupils leaving with 5 or more GCSEs, including English and Maths. Eighty per cent of pupils achieved five or more GCSEs, and 64 per cent of pupils achieved 5 or more GCSEs including English and Maths, a 23 per cent increase on last year and the best ever statistic for the school.

Mr Maxwell questioned why, with the exception of Ballymoney High School, Markethill High School was the only remaining non-selective Controlled school in Northern Ireland with approximately 500 pupils without Sixth Form Provision.

He asked why some Markethill High School pupils, who attend further education at post-16 level, are only able to access a certain percentage of the A-Level provision which is openly available in other non-selective Controlled sixth forms in other parts of Northern Ireland.

Furthermore, he asked why Markethill High School pupils have to access selective Controlled or voluntary education at age 16 in order to gain access to the broad range of ‘A’ Level courses which is openly on provision to pupils who attend non-selective Maintained or Voluntary Catholic education in the Armagh City and District area.

He said: “We have hit another record enrolment with 500 pupils. We need to step up to Sixth Form. Our position on this is very, very clear. But there is a clear discrepancy between the Maintained and the Controlled sector. As the largest non-selective Controlled school in the Armagh area, there is no other option but to place a Sixth Form in Markethill at Markethill High.

“To the Chief Executive of the SELB, I say this. Markethill High must get Sixth Form provision in the next few years as a growing, educationally successful and financially secure school, with an increasing surplus. I, and we as a community, will continue to push with maximum force for this. Sixth Form provision is at the centre of our radar. This is in line with the Minister’s commitment to allow oversubscribed, successful , popular schools to grow”.

Mr Maxwell referred to the journey the school has been on to date and what the school’s ambitions are for the future and said the community of Markethill fully back the school’s drive for a new build and sixth form.

He added: “Our school is the heart of our community. We are blessed at this school. Blessed to have such well-mannered, respectful and able young people who are happy, honest, responsible and hard-working. We deserve decisions to be made. As a community we look forward to the SELB driving things forward.”


Notes To Editor:

  • 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’.
  • For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 | mgmpr.co.uk | Education PR | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | Brand Journalism UK | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism Experts


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