Investing in a Better Future


This final report, which is the culmination of two years work, outlines key recommendations from the Independent Review of Education. 

Panel Chairperson, Dr Keir Bloomer said: “Many of the concerns that we address in this report are common to all developed countries.  These include helping people to adapt to and flourish in a rapidly changing society and economy, raising standards of achievement, reducing the impact of disadvantage, encouraging learning throughout life and enabling the education system itself to make use of emerging technologies. 

There are, of course, some aspects of the Northern Ireland education system that are unique for political and historical reasons.

We have sought to set out a series of deliverable recommendations that will change the landscape of education in Northern Ireland – building on its strengths but also tackling weaknesses.”

Key recommendations include the need to prioritise investment in education, promote learner’s learning together, expand early years education, reconfigure the network of schools, simplify the management of education, reform the curriculum and increase the age of educational participation to 18.

The Report consists of three separate (but linked) documents:

  1. Volume 1 is an overview. It describes the task, the priority areas for reform and key recommendations.
  2. Volume 2 provides greater detail. It describes the current strengths, weaknesses and modes of operation of the education system. It sets out the Panel’s rationale for the recommended courses of action. Each chapter of Volume 2 contains a full suite of recommendations, including the key recommendations within Volume 1.
  3. Volume 3 includes a number of Appendices that provide further background information relevant to the Review. 

An Irish language version of Volume 1 has been produced.