A small-scale specialist schools pilot project involving 12 post-primary schools began in Northern Ireland in September 2006. The pilot provides an opportunity to explore the concept of specialist schools, tailored to meet the particular needs of Northern Ireland's education system.
All post-primary schools were invited to express an interest in the pilot on 5 September 2005. The 12 specialist schools were announced on 14 March 2006. The participating schools were selected by an independent panel and represent a range of school management types, rural and urban schools and large and small schools. They will specialise in different curricular areas including performing arts, information and communication technology, business and enterprise, science, music and languages.
The successful schools were required to complete a full application form, in accordance with Stage two of the specialist schools application guidance PDF 175 KB.
An outline of the objectives of specialist schools in Northern Ireland can be found in - Specialist Schools Concept in Northern Ireland Context PDF 122 KB.