Prestigious National Award for Ballymena Academy

Ballymena Academy is the first school in Northern Ireland to be awarded the Prospects National Quality Standard for Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance.

Ballymena Academy has received a major national award in recognition of its provision for Careers Education, Advice, Information and Guidance. The school was commended on its outstanding provision and the award was made at the very highest ‘Gold’ level , which recognises the ‘exceptional standard’ of careers provision.

The Accreditation Board was deeply impressed with the quality of the CEIAG offered and commented specifically on how ‘students benefit from the expertise of a wide range of fully skilled, dedicated careers staff who provide top quality guidance and support, an excellent careers education programme complemented by a rich variety of work-related experiences both inside and outside the classroom’. In its report the Accreditation Board emphasised that the school ‘has, not only achieved the standard, but far exceeded the requirements.’

Dr Livingston, Head of CEIAG in Ballymena Academy explained that the whole process from start to finish was intensive but extremely valuable in providing a very useful framework to audit and evaluate the work of the school in the areas of Careers Education, Careers Information and Careers Guidance.

The accreditation was attained after a rigorous process of evaluation and assessment carried out by the school and by Prospects, a leading national and international provider of careers information, advice and guidance for young people and adults. The assessors spent a day in the school meeting staff and talking to pupils about the CEIAG provision in Ballymena Academy after which they commented on how they were ‘blown away by the provision that the school has in place for careers and the dedication shown by all staff to support the CEIAG agenda.’

Principal Mr Black commented, ‘I am delighted that the school has received this prestigious award – it was a bonus to be told that Ballymena Academy is the first school in the province to receive the award from Prospects and one of the very few schools nationally to attain the gold standard. In Ballymena Academy we believe that supporting young people to make informed decisions about progression, learning and work options is fundamentally important, as is prioritising the development of career management skills that are such an important factor in guaranteeing success in today’s every changing world.’

Report thanks to Mrs. Connor.