Facilities & Curriculum

Inside the school gates

While it’s important to appreciate the type of institution you’re connecting with, every school has its own character and may participate in a wide range of initiatives, schemes, awards and more.

Gaelic, Welsh and Irish-medium schools

The member states of the UK have rich histories and strong national identities and this is reflected in the maintenance of Gaelic, Welsh and Irish-medium schools, where English is the second language.

  • There are just over 50 Gaelic-medium schools in Scotland (with two-thirds in the Highlands)
  • Northern Ireland has 90 Irish-medium schools (also called ‘immersion schools’)
  • There are around 500 Welsh-medium schools in Wales and 1 in London

Specialist schools and colleges

Funding for school specialisms was first established in the late-1980s to facilitate the introduction of Technology as a curriculum subject. The City Technology Colleges Trust was established in 1987 to support the newly-established CTC’s, but its remit was widened to include all specialist schools in 2003 (as the renamed Specialist Schools Trust) and then academies in 2005 (as the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT)).

Since the turn of the century, the focus has been on whole-school improvement rather than unconnected centres of excellence. An emphasis was placed on schools establishing partnerships with businesses for both funding and other support. That business sponsorship would normally amount to £50,000 in addition to the £100,000 government grant and per-pupil allocation.

When the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition came to power in 2010 it ended ring-fenced funding for specialist schools, so the SSAT downsized and now focuses on providing continuing professional development in the guise of The Schools Network.

Special Educational Needs (SEN) facilities

It is too broad a generalisation to include or exclude special schools from target audiences by virtue of that definition alone. It’s importance to acknowledge the impairments that each special school caters for when considering campaign relevance.

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulty (BESD)
  • Dyslexia
  • Hearing Impaired (HI)
  • Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD)
  • Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI)
  • Physical Difficulties (PD)
  • Profound Multiple/Complex Learning Difficulties (PMLD)
  • Speech and Communication Difficulties (SLCN)
  • Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD)
  • Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD)
  • Visually Impaired (VI)

Summer schools

The coalition government announced a new summer schools programme in September 2012 whereby £100m funding per year would be allocated to schools with FSM and LAC pupils moving into Year 7. The initiative seeks to provide a 1-2 week engagement to ensure there is no dip in performance at a crucial time of their academic life.