Speech Day at Friends’ School Lisburn
- 5 September 2018 -
Speech Day was held at Friends’ School on Friday 7 September, when certificates and progress files were handed out to those who had completed AS and A-level examinations in 2018.
The Guest of Honour was Neil Gibson, media commentator and Chief Economist for all Ireland at Ernst and Young. Neil was previously involved with Oxford Economics and was also head of the Northern Ireland Centre for Economic Policy at Ulster University.
The Chairman of the Board of Governors, Philip McDonagh opened proceedings by congratulating pupils on their achievements and thanking the staff of the School for their hard work over the past year. He said that the recognition the school had received in being named the Sunday Times Northern Ireland Secondary School of Year was affirmation of everything that had gone on in school, not just the excellent results.
However, he added that success did not mean that everything was straightforward, and highlighted the current financial situation which was making life difficult not just for Friends’, but for schools across the country. He said that a government at Stormont was urgently required, and appealed to parents to do what they could to persuade elected representatives to address the funding crisis in education immediately. He said that whatever the difficulties, everyone at Friends’ would continue in their work:
“In all this we are determined to protect the tremendous work that goes on in our classrooms, to keep investing in the School to ensure that it is a safe and happy environment for everyone and of course to maintain the caring Quaker ethos on which the School is founded. We want to continue to make school better in spite of the circumstances. In six years’ time, in 2024, it will be the 250th anniversary of the School which opened in 1774, and we are determined to celebrate this anniversary in an appropriate way.”