Transformation of Parkhall College enrolment has become an expensive and perhaps last ditch enterprise for the Board of Governors, The NEELB and NICIE. A Decaux billboard at the Top of the Town in Antrim advertised the post-primary school’s Open Night before the end of 2011. Just this week a new billboard appeared during the period for parents to choose post-primary schools for the current P7 classes.
- Who commissioned the billboards?
- How many billboards have been selected and what are the locations?
- How much does each billboard cost?
- What is the total cost of the advertising campaign?
- Who is paying for the billboards and advertisements?
While Parkhall attempts to sell itself to prospective pupils via Open days, expensive advertising and prize day speeches parents must examine the facts. The following extract is taken from Mr Beattie’s remarks on prize day when Naomi Long MP of the Alliance Party was a guest. Unfortunately the principal neglected to mention some significant lack of attainment in the area of numeracy and literacy. For those school leaders who readily adopted CCEA’s revised curriculum and the DENI Entitlement Framework the consequences have now become real for pupils. While Mr Gavin Boyd, the Chief Executive of ESA and former Chief Executive of CCEA once stated that pupils would “acquire dispositions” most parents and employers want their charges to be able to read, write and count. While Mr Beattie boasts of record achievement for one pupil he neglects to mention some important facts for many others. At the benchmark of 5 A* – C grade GCSE (considered a measure of success for all pupils) Parkhall did record 57% of pupils reaching the threshold. However when the vital subjects of English and Mathematics are included in the five subjects the result falls to:
Parkhall Integrated* College 28.8% A* – C GCSE including English and Maths
Principal of Parkhall College, George Beattie
Reports have been received by PACENI that requests for information surrounding the enrolment at Parkhall College have been refused. Let it be hoped that the school is not attempting to paint a false picture by hiding information from the community that supports it.