SDLP question Education Minister on school builds

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SDLP Mid Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone has questioned the Education Minister on the absence of a decision on a school new-build for Holy Family Primary School and Rainey Endowed in Magherafelt.

The Mid Ulster MLA tabled the Assembly questions after the minister announced 13 new school builds in the primary and post-primary sectors that did not include the Holy Family Primary School or Rainey Endowed.

Mr McGlone said: “The Education Minister announcement of an apparent green-light for 13 new school builds in the primary and post-primary sectors raises more questions than answers.

“When questioned on the projects missing from the list the minister hides behind the area-based planning process. Yet in other areas he has been able to identify specific new school builds that are able to proceed.

Local SDLP Councillor Jim Campbell added: “It is a particular concern in the case of Holy Family Primary School because the new-build has been identified as a priority need by the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools.

“No-one doubts that there difficult decisions to be made when it comes to investing in our schools estate. But the public need to see a consistent rationale being applied in each and every decision the minister makes.

Mr McGlone concluded: “I have tabled a number of questions to the minister in an attempt to shine some light on his decision-making in the case of Holy Family Primary School and the on-going delays in relation to Rainey Endowed.

I will continue to lobby on behalf of the pupils, their parents and teachers, to ensure they get the priority new school build that everyone agrees they need.”