St Patrick's College, Maghera.
One of Co Derry’s biggest schools is set for a major funding boost following an announcement by the education minister.
St Patrick’s College in Maghera has been included on the School Enhancement Programme (SEP) which is for capital schemes costing between £500,000 and £4m.
The school is one of 18 schools which have been included on the SEP for 2022/23 which was announced by Education Minister Peter Weir last week.
It’s the second piece of good news for the school in recent months. In October funding of over £700,000 was approved to provide two double prefabricated classrooms as replacement accommodation for a double temporary classroom and two singular modular units.
SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster, Patsy McGlone said he has pressed the new Minister for Education on the inclusion of St Patrick’s College in the SEP.
“I have been in regular contact with St Patrick’s College, Maghera on the need for improvements to the school estate over recent years. I have had visits with Department officials, the school principal, the chair of the board of governors and Cllr Martin Kearney on site to see the school facilities.
“Further enhancement to the school facilities on site will be required and the school enhancement programme for 2022/23 provides an opportunity to deliver these improvements for St Patrick’s College."
Mid Ulster Sinn Féin MLA Emma Sheerin welcomed the announcement that St Patrick’s College has been included on the programme.
“The announcement of funding for the capital work is indeed very welcome and St Patrick’s College is a worthy recipient. A number of issues with leaking and damp forced them to make applications for upgrades to several buildings around the school, and they have previously been told that a replacement building for the technology department, to which this project relates, is not an option, and so this is a good interim measure.
"St Pats’ have an excellent reputation across South Derry and indeed have a huge catchment area, and it is difficult to expect any teaching body to carry out their work to a high standard when their facilities do not match up.
“I have written to the minister to request further detail about the scale of the investment and I will continue to work with my local Council colleagues, as well as the school, to ensure that the matter progresses at the earliest opportunity.”
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