New £8.2million Arvalee School and Resource Centre opens

Date published: 13 September 2016

Education Minister, Peter Weir, has visited the new Arvalee School and Resource Centre which is the first school to open on Northern Ireland’s first shared school campus.

Arvalee School teaches young people from aged 3 to 19 years who have moderate and severe learning difficulties.

The single-storey, purpose built building is made up of two distinct wings which house specialist facilities including sensory therapy rooms and courtyards, hygiene and hoisting facilities, and specialist teaching areas for art, technology, design and home economics.

Speaking during a visit to the school today the Minister said:

“This is a very special day for pupils, teachers, parents and the local community. The new Arvalee School provides state of the art facilities for over 200 pupils and staff.

“I am especially pleased that Arvalee is the first to open on the Strule Shared Education Campus following the fire which devastated their former school in 2012. 

“It has been extremely rewarding to see at firsthand the positive impact this investment has brought to the daily lives of pupils and teachers at Arvalee.

 “I know current pupils and staff contributed to the design process, and hope that they, along with those starting the school for the first time, will be inspired by their new facilities.”

Arvalee is the first of six schools to be completed at Strule Shared Education Campus, a pioneering programme which will help shape the future provision of shared education in Northern Ireland.

Principal Jonathan Gray said:

“This is a great day for Arvalee and for the local community. Our mission is to promote inclusion and enrich the education of children and young people in the Omagh district, so we are very proud to be the first school to open on Strule Shared Education Campus.

“Our pupils are always at the heart of what we do, and our new surroundings will allow my team and I to deliver the highest possible educational experience and truly broaden their horizons.

“This is an exciting time for both staff and pupils. We are very much looking forward to building our new school community together and welcoming our neighbours onto the campus over the next few years.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Arvalee School and Resource Centre delivers education and learning programmes to support children and young people aged 3 to 19 years who have Moderate and Severe Learning Difficulties.
  2. The overall Strule Shared Education Campus Programme involves significant capital investment into the construction of six core schools (five post-primary and one special school) and associated shared education facilities on a 125 acre site in Omagh, to cater for the needs of more than 4,000 pupils.
  3. The six schools are drawn from the controlled and voluntary sectors. Arvalee School and Resource Centre is a controlled special school.
  4. The schools involved are Arvalee School and Resource Centre, Christian Brothers Grammar School, Loreto Grammar School, Omagh Academy Grammar School, Omagh High School, and Sacred Heart College.
  5. Follow us on Twitter @education_NI
  6. See photos from the Department of Education in our flickr collection.
  7. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 99 715 440, and your call will be returned.

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