East Derry SDLP Assembly Member Gerry Mullan has questioned when a new school will be built to replace St Paul’s College, Kilrea and St Mary’s College, Clady that were selected for amalgamation by former Education Minister John O’Dowd.
Mr Mullan said:
“These are two excellent post-primary schools which have served this part of East Derry well over many years. In a blaze of publicity, the previous minister announced an amalgamation which everyone took for granted included a new build. Clearly not and all the hype could justifiably be described as nothing more than a pre-election publicity stunt which created expectations that may never be a reality, given all the conditions laid out by Mr Weir.
“However, parents need to understand that feet dragging by the Department of Education will not dilute the excellent standards of education delivered by both schools and they should continue to support these schools in every way possible. The uncertainty hanging over a new building will not deter teachers and boards of governors collaborating together to maintain and enhance the performance of their respective schools which will clearly be forced to work on a split site and that is highly undesirable.
“Schools in rural communities, whether primary or secondary are a critical part of the fabric of those communities and should have priority when deciding capital expenditure. It is my intention to keep a watching brief on how the provision of a new school for Kilrea and Clady develops or, as I fear, doesn’t materalise within a reasonable time frame.”