Prestigious Awards Received In Recognition Of Exceptional Pastoral Care

Three schools have received prestigious awards in recognition of their exceptional pastoral care, by Education Minister Paul Givan and Public Health Agency Director Dr Joanne McClean.

St Columba's Primary School, Belfast Boys' Model School and Knockevin Special School all received awards for pastoral care of pupils and families at the Derrytrasna Awards ceremony at Stormont, hosted by the Department of Education and the Public Health Agency (PHA).

Presenting the awards, Education Minister Paul Givan said: "Children and young people face many challenges as they grow up. Over the last ten years, the Derrytrasna awards have recognised the exceptional contribution and support, provided to children and young people by schools, during what can be a difficult time in their lives.
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"These award-winning schools have all demonstrated outstanding pastoral care, putting pupils' needs to the forefront of school life. All three schools displayed a commitment and dedication to supporting the individual needs of pupils and their families. I am exceptionally proud of their efforts, which have made such an incredible difference to the lives of young people."

The Derrytrasna Pastoral Care award was created by the Department of Education in collaboration with the Public Health Agency in 2014. It seeks to recognise through nominations, those school communities that have demonstrated exceptional effort in supporting the pastoral care of pupils and their families.

Also presenting at the ceremony, Director of Public Health, Public Health Agency Dr Joanne McClean, said: "As part of our 'Starting Well' agenda, the Public Health Agency are committed to supporting opportunities that help children and young people secure the best start in life. Research shows that education and health are closely linked, therefore, the provision of quality pastoral care has the potential to improve education and health outcomes for our young people and can play a role in reducing health inequalities. I commend this year's winners for their exceptional commitment to pastoral care."

The awards were inspired and named in honour of St Mary's Primary School in Derrytrasna, following the exceptional pastoral care the whole school community provided to a terminally ill pupil, Adele Madden.

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