Glengormley school leaders to take part in European research trip

Principal Ricky Massey and Assistant Vice Principal Paul Clarke.
Principal Ricky Massey and Assistant Vice Principal Paul Clarke.

Two school leaders from Glengormley High will be visiting schools in Finland and Estonia as they seek to investigate best practice for developing school leadership and self-evaluation.

Principal Ricky Massey and Assistant Vice Principal Paul Clarke secured places to travel with the Controlled Schools Support Council Northern Ireland (CSSCNI) to embark on this nine-day research opportunity which will see them fly into Helsinki in early November.

The Finnish education system is regarded as one of the very best in the world, where teachers are required to be educated to Master’s level before they can teach in a classroom. The length of compulsory education in Finland is nine years compared to 12 years in Northern Ireland. Children do not start their formal education until the age of seven and staying on in school beyond the age of 16 is optional.

Principal Massey noted his determination to capture a glimpse of ideas within the Finnish system to bring to his school for consideration, saying: “We are blessed within our Glengormley High School family to have staff who go the extra mile and give more and more.

“It is the norm to keep piling on extra work to teaching staff, without reducing the workload by stopping to do the things that don’t actually work.

“Despite our GCSE results being above the Northern Ireland average, I hope to discover new ideas for developing learning and teaching, and opening discussion with staff on how to help us work smarter and more efficiently.”

Following this research trip, both leaders will contribute to a report with the CSSCNI to the British Council.