Types of schools

There are five types of school in Northern Ireland. These are:

Secondary school types and subjects

In relation to the situation in Northern Ireland the religious segregation of primary and post-primary education is the clearest demarcation of the education system. It may be useful to consider the religious breakdown of secondary school students.

A survey of 1500 GCSE students found that there were some differences between the choice of subject.


Sporting activities differ slightly between the schools. Whereas Catholic schools play Gaelic games such as Gaelic football, hurling and camogie, Protestant schools will play rugby, cricket and hockey. Both engage in the full range of other sports activities. The report 'Schools Apart' noted some of these differences. Figures were acquired for:


A survey of 1 000 schools in Northern Ireland in 1987 estimated that 3% of primary school children and 5% of secondary school, some 15 000 children, were disruptive. This was attributed to factors such as problems in the home, peer pressure, poor social skills or psychological problems.

Until 1987 corporal punishment was permitted in schools in Northern Ireland.

In 1982 the European Court of Human Rights ruled against the use of corporal punishment.

In 1987 the Rogers Report advocated greater teacher-parent liaison as a more acceptable way of dealing with the problem of disruptive behaviour in the classroom.

Although some three quarters of schools wished to retain corporal punishment it was officially banned on 16 August 1987.

Schools have devised many different forms of sanctions such as greater parent involvement, conduct cards, extra work, loss of privileges, detention, suspension and expulsion.

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