Schools are being encouraged to apply for support to build on existing sharing arrangements as part of the Shared Education Campuses (SEC) Programme.
The Shared Education Campuses Programme was launched in January 2014 under the Executive’s ‘Together: Building a United Community’ initiative. Capital funding has been secured under the Fresh Start to the Stormont House Agreement.
To date five projects have been announced to proceed in planning and the Executive has committed to starting 10 new shared education campuses by 2018.
Speaking about the initiative, the Minister said: “I am very pleased to open the third call to the Shared Education Campuses Programme. Shared Education is now well established across Northern Ireland and the Shared Education Campuses Programme seeks to build on these strong foundations.
“This Programme will enhance the quality and extent of shared education provision, thus ensuring that sharing in education becomes a central part of every child’s educational experience.
“In addition, the Shared Education Act which came into effect in May 2016, places a duty on my Department and other relevant bodies to encourage, facilitate and promote shared education.
“These measures taken together will help further embed sharing at school level among our local communities and, in turn, will contribute to the vision of a shared, reconciled society.
Continuing, the Minister said it was particularly fitting that the third call was being opened during Community Relations Week: “I would encourage all schools that have a strong history of sharing to consider applying to this programme and look forward to giving full consideration to the shared education campus proposals that come forward.”
The deadline for the submission of proposals under this third call is 27 January 2017. The next set of projects approved to proceed in planning are expected to be announced in May 2017.
All schools will receive details of how to apply for the programme, including the full range of criteria that proposals must meet before they can be considered.
The five projects selected from the first two Calls to the Shared Education Campuses (SEC) Programme selected to proceed to Business Case stage are in the early stages of planning. The five projects are:
- Moy Regional Controlled Primary School and St John’s Primary School, Moy. The Moy SEC proposes a single school build on a new site to accommodate both primary schools. Each school will retain its own distinct ethos and identity and will share facilities such as multi-purpose hall, play areas, library and ancillary accommodation.
- Ballycastle High School and Cross and Passion College, Ballycastle. This project is for a single build encompassing both schools with shared facilities at the centre and core schools at either side. Given the constraints of the two existing school sites, the SEC will be built on the Ballycastle High School site, with the Cross and Passion site being utilised for playing sites and changing facilities for both schools. Again both schools will retain their own distinct ethos and identity.
- St Mary’s High School, Limavady and Limavady High School. This project will provide two new shared facilities – a shared Sixth Form/Careers/Media and Drama centre on the St Mary’s school site and a shared Stem (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) centre on the Limavady High School site.
- St Mary’s Primary School, Brookeborough and Brookeborough Primary School, The Brookeborough SEC is to provide a single school build on a neutral site to accommodate both primary schools. Each school will retain its own distinct ethos and identity and will share facilities such as multi-purpose hall, play areas and ancillary accommodation.
- Duneane Primary School and Moneynick Primary School, Randalstown, This SEC project is to provide a single school build on a neutral site to accommodate both primary schools. Each school will retain its own distinct ethos and identity and will share facilities such as multi-purpose hall, play areas and ancillary accommodation.
Further details on the Shared Education Campuses Programme and the application process are available at https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/articles/shared-education-campuses-programme