A GROUP of young men will certainly be relieved by work planned at Derry’s oldest all-girls’ school.
Thousands of young women have been educated at Thornhill College throughout the school’s 160-year history.
However, boys are now able to be part of A-Level classes at the school through a shared education programme among local schools.
There have been issues, however, when any of the male pupils needed to use the ‘little boys’ room’.
As a result, Thornhill College is now in the process of installing toilets specifically for their small number of male pupils.
The all-girls grammar school has issued a tender for the conversion of its home economics room into a science laboratory with provision for male student toilets.
The work is expected to cost around £95,000.
The provision of male pupil toilets at Thornhill highlights, once again, the changing face of education in our schools.
Same-sex secondary schools in Northern Ireland, including many in Derry, have been taking in an increasing number of both male and female pupils to its sixth form over recent years.
Thornhill College is ranked as one of the top grammar schools in Northern Ireland with 90% of A level students achieving three A*-C grades last year.
The school first opened its doors at Culmore in September 1932.
However, it was already a very well-established school long before then.
It had been founded as long ago as 1848, as a school for young ladies contained within the Convent of the Sisters of Mercy at Pump Street in Derry’s city centre.
From there it was transferred to a purpose-built school building at Artillery
Street in 1887, only to be transferred to yet more spacious premises off the Culmore Road in 1932 and eventually, in 2004, it was transferred one more time, to the state-of-the-art building at its current location.
Thornhill College, in its various manifestations down through the years since 1848, has shaped the formative years of countless thousands of young women.

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