Cookstown’s Holy Trinity College hosts Education Minister

Minister John O'Dowd with Holy Trinity principal Isabel Russell, and students from the school
Minister John O'Dowd with Holy Trinity principal Isabel Russell, and students from the school

Staff and pupils at Holy Trinity College were last week given the chance to have a say on the issues affecting them when the Education Minister paid their school a visit.

After taking a brief tour of the premises, Sinn Fein’s John O’Dowd heard what staff and students had to say before meeting with local community group Forum for Education.

One of the main concerns brought to his attention during the visit, according to principal Isabel Russell, was “the unacceptable environmental conditions and limited space in which pupils and staff work on a daily basis”.

The visit, Mrs Russell added also gave them a chance to share with Mr O’Dowd their vision for a new school, playing facilities and discuss the college’s continued growth.

Speaking about his visit, the Minister said: “I very much welcomed the opportunity to see Holy Trinity College in operation and listen to the views of staff, pupils and local stakeholders.

“The school delivers excellent education to the local children and young people and this was evident during my visit.”

Commending the close links between the secondary school and Holy Trinity Primary, which he also visited, Minister O’Dowd added: “The schools clearly have strong links with each other and with the local community.

“I am keen to hear all views regarding the schools’ future and valued my meeting with the local education forum body.

“In making any decisions on the way ahead I will keep the best educational interest of the children at the forefront,” he added.

Encouraged to see both schools, and Cookstown Primary, working together for the benefit of their pupils, he went on to say: “I will announce the second tranche of successful projects in June.

“I thank the principals, governors, staff and pupils of both schools for the warm welcome I received and commend them, and the wider community, on their commitment to the education of children and young people in Cookstown.”