Sunday 19 August 2018 08:53:27 AM

Southern Schools Progress In Enhancement Programme
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Permanent Secretary, Derek Baker, has announced that 25 schools have been successful in the 2nd call of the School Enhancement Programme across Northern Ireland and four schools in the southern area are still about the process for a major capital investment.

Special Schools Knockevin Primary School in Downpatrick and Killsborough Beechlawn PS along with Killyleagh Integrated Primary School, St Mary’s PS, Jerretspass and St Patrick’s PS, Crossmaglen,are still hopeful of their bids being successful.

At a meeting in January were, from left, Councillor Billy Walker, Chair of the Board of Governors at Killyleagh Integrated PS, School Principal Jason Milligan, Jim Shannon MP, and Councillor Terry Andrews.

The School Enhancement Programme was first established in June 2012 and provides financial support for capital projects valued at between £500,000 and £4million. The 2nd call for projects opened in January 2017 and encouraged applications addressing immediate and pressing accommodation needs in schools.

Speaking on the success of the Killyleagh Integrated Primary School in the bid, Jim Shannon MP for Strangford congratulated the school for their successful application for funding in the School Enhancement Programme.

Mr Shannon said: “I met with Roger Sayers from the Education Authority and the Principal of Killyleagh Integrated, Jason Milligan, along with the chair of the Board of Governors, Jim Lindsay, and Cllrs Billy Walker and Terry Andrews, in my office to discuss the deplorable state of the roof and the school and I am pleased that they have been successful in that application.

“Whilst at this stage we are not sure how much funding has been allocated, it is good news for the school and I am pleased that the Education Authority took our meeting seriously and understood the needs of the school.”

Permanent Secretary, Derek Baker said: “The purpose of the School Enhancement Programme is to ensure that we provide the best possible education estate for our children and young people, within the budget that is available.

“With this in mind I have given approval to progress the first 25 projects through the business case, design and planning stages. These projects will attract a potential £60million investment which will help to improve and expand the existing facilities in the schools.

“Today’s announcement represents a first tranche of projects to be progressed from this call with the potential for further schools to be approved in the future. This is good news for the pupils, staff and wider communities of the schools.”

DUP MLA Peter Weir, a former NI Education Minister,  said: “I welcome the announcement today by the Department of Education of the next tranche of funding under the School Enhancement Programme. This will benefit 25 schools and provide £60 million of capital finance. I particularly welcome the inclusion of Killyleagh Central Integrated Primary amongst the successful schools and the SEP will greatly benefit the children of the school. I also welcome the inclusion of Longstone Special School, which while outside Strangford, is attended by a number of local pupils.

“The School Enhancement Programme has been very successful in recent years, and can deliver capital works in a much swifter fashion than normal major capital build works. There will however be a number of local schools which have missed out on funding in this round, and I share their disappointment. In the absence of a successful application it is vital that they are given strong consideration next time round, and that in the meantime that minor works in terms of capital are carried out swiftly to at least meet the immediate needs of these schools.”

And Cllr Billy Walker said: “I am delighted that Killyleagh Integrated Primary School has been awarded up to £3million for improvements. The EA listened to our case last January and as public representatives we are now looking forward to the implementation stages of the new build.

“I would like to thank Jim LIndsay and JAson Milligan for their dedication in seeing this project through to this stage. They have successfully developed the school from a base of 70 pupils to around 130.”

The schools proceeding are:

Primary schools:

  • Carniny PS, Ballymena
  • Chapel Road PS, Londonderry
  • Greenhaw PS, Londonderry
  • Holy Rosary PS, Belfast
  • Killyleagh Controlled Integrated PS
  • Lurgan Model PS
  • Our Lady of Lourdes PS, Belfast
  • Presentation PS, Portadown
  • St John’s PS, Coalisland
  • St Mary’s PS Jerrettspass, Newry
  • St Mary’s PS, Strabane
  • St Patrick’s PS, Crossmaglen

Post Primary schools

  • Coleraine GS
  • Lurgan College
  • St Joseph’s GS, Donaghmore
  • St Kevin’s College, Lisnaskea
  • St Malachy’s College, Belfast
  • St Patrick’s GS, Armagh

Special schools

  • Beechlawn School, Hillsborough
  • Knockevin Special School, Downpatrick
  • Longstone School, Dundonald
  • Roddensvale School, Larne
  • Sandelford Special School, Coleraine
  • Sperrinview Special School, Dungannon
  • Thornfield House School, Newtownabbey