Minister turns down nursery unit at St Colum's in Portstewart

Date published: 07 July 2015

Education Minister, John O’Dowd, has turned down a proposal to establish a 26 place part-time nursery unit at St Colum’s Primary School, Portstewart.

Commenting on his decision, Mr O’Dowd said:

“My views on the value of pre-school provision for young children are well known. However, each development proposal for the establishment of new provision must be carefully considered on the basis of all the information pertinent to the individual case.

 This proposal, brought forward by the CCMS, was predicated on the closure of the existing playgroup.  The Education Authority has received no indication from the playgroup that they wish to remove themselves from the pre-school programme and indeed the playgroup has increased their level of provision for September 2015.

 In this instance there are already sufficient pre-school places in the area and if approved the new unit would potentially displace existing good quality pre-school provision. On that basis I could not endorse this proposal.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. On 26 November 2014 the former North Eastern Education and Library Board, at the request of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools published Development Proposal 298 proposing that: “A statutory nursery unit be established at St Colum’s Primary School to provide 26 part-time places with effect from 1 September 2015 or as soon as possible thereafter".
  2. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign promotes the value of education. This year’s campaign aims to ensure that parents have information on schooling and that they are aware of the steps they can take to ‘Get Involved’ and support their teenager in achieving good outcomes at school. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit the nidirect website for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel 
  3. See photos from the Department of Education in our flickr collection 
  4. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team Tel: (028) 9127 9207. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699715440 and your call will be returned.

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