SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster, Patsy McGlone, has pressed the new Minister for Education on the inclusion of St Patrick’s College, Maghera, in the school enhancement programme for 2022/23. The Mid Ulster MLA took the opportunity to question the Minister, Peter Weir MLA, on the issue during the first question time of the newly restored Assembly.
Speaking afterwards Mr McGlone said, “During Questions in the Assembly, I pressed the Minister for Education on inclusion of Saint Pat’s, Maghera in the school enhancement programme for 22/23. This follows a meeting with the Department officials and the school and Mid-Ulster Council Chair, Martin Kearney which I arranged last year.
“The Minister, Peter Weir MLA, has announced a scoping exercise as part of the programme but was unable to give full details of works to be done or funding for the scheme yet.
“I have been in regular contact with St Patrick’s College, Maghera on the need for improvements to the school estate over recent years. I have had visits with Department officials, the school principal, the chair of the board of governors and Councillor Martin Kearney on site to see the school facilities.
“Separately, the business case for the replacement of modular accommodation for St. Patrick’s College was approved by the Department last year at an estimated total cost of £712,360. This is to provide a two double prefabricated classroom as replacement accommodation for a double temporary classroom and two singular modular units. This is due to be completed in time for the new school year in September 2020.
“Further enhancement to the school facilities on site will be required and the school enhancement programme for 2022/23 provides an opportunity to deliver these improvements for St Patrick’s College.
“I will continue to lobby the Minister and the Department for greater clarity on the details of funding for the scheme and what work the scheme will cover.”