Modern School

29 October 2013

St Mary's College - Northern Ireland

2013 EFQM Excellence Prize Winner in "Sustaining Outstanding Results"

“The biggest benefit we have gained from using the EFQM Excellence Model has been our improved performance in key results including examination performance over a 15 year period. The Model requires that we involve everyone in self-evaluation to bring about improvement as part of our daily routine. “
Marie Lindsay, Headmistress


St Mary’s College is a Catholic all ability school which caters for 900 girls in the 11-18 age group. It has been using the EFQM Business Excellence Model since 1995 and has won numerous awards based of the Model including: 

  • Northern Ireland Quality Award (on four occasions) 1998, 2001, 2006, 2012; 
  • UK Quality Award 2000 
  • European Quality Award ( on two occasions) 2001, 2006 
  • Ireland Excellence Award 2013

As the only public sector organisation ever to win the EFQM Business Excellence Award twice the school has built up a reputation for organisational excellence both nationally and internationally.

Benefits of implementing the EFQM Excellence Model 

  • Since 2005, over 70% of pupils from St Mary's College have gone on to further/ higher education; this is a higher percentage than achieved by the Northern Ireland's average. 
  • At St Mary's College core values are lived throughout the organisation by teaching and non- teaching staff and the pupils themselves, creating a strong culture of aiming for excellence. 
  • Over ¾ of the key customer performance show favourable levels of performance. 98% of the parents and 94% of the pupils show an overall satisfaction. 
  • There has been a gradual increase in People Satisfaction, from 75% of the people satisfied in 2002 to over 90% in 2010. 
  • St Mary's College has in most instances sustained good perception trends over 8 years for all society result areas with most achieving perception levels of 90%. E.g. Service providers (local libraries, swimming pools, sport complex, buses…) show a satisfaction level over 99%.

“The Assessment Team is convinced that St Mary's College, being a pioneer since 1995 and one of Northern Ireland's role models today, will continue to play an important role in the construction of modern school living up to Department of Education's vision, and supporting the government's educational strategies for raising achievement in literacy and numeracy.”
Felix Horner, Assessment Team Leader