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Minister turns down proposal for new nursery in Portstewart

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Education Minister, John O’Dowd, has turned down a proposal to establish a 26 place part-time nursery unit at St Colum’s Primary School, Portstewart.

Commenting on his decision, Mr O’Dowd said: “My views on the value of pre-school provision for young children are well known. However, each development proposal for the establishment of new provision must be carefully considered on the basis of all the information pertinent to the individual case.

“This proposal, brought forward by the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools( CCMS), was predicated on the closure of the existing playgroup. The Education Authority has received no indication from the playgroup that they wish to remove themselves from the pre-school programme and indeed the playgroup has increased their level of provision for September 2015.

“In this instance there are already sufficient pre-school places in the area and if approved the new unit would potentially displace existing good quality pre-school provision. On that basis I could not endorse this proposal.”

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