O’Dowd visits Roddensvale Special School to highlight £1.5million investment

Date published: 04 February 2016

Education Minister, John O’Dowd, today visited Roddensvale School, Larne to see the £1.5million investment from the Department of Education’s Minor Works Scheme.

During the visit the Minister cut the first sod for a £944,000 hydrotherapy pool and officially opened a new extension incorporating two classrooms, dining area, hygiene room and other facilities following almost £578,000 investment.

The Minister said:

“I am delighted to be here today to mark commencement of work on the hydrotherapy pool and officially open the new extension. This is a scheme that I have been personally involved in for some time so it gives me great pleasure to attend this special event.

“The extension at the school will provide an important space for the senior pupils to learn and socialise in. The independent access will provide those pupils with an extra sense of independence as they near the end of their time at Roddensvale.

“The hydrotherapy pool will complement the teaching and personal development that goes on within the school and help contribute to the pupils’ overall experience at by easing, even temporarily, some of the pain and discomfort these children have to deal with on a daily basis.

“I know that Mr Madden and his colleagues have campaigned for a hydrotherapy pool for the school and when I visited in 2014 I gave a commitment to deliver this. I am therefore delighted today to see that commitment being realised.”

Principal John Madden said:

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Minister for the new accommodation for pupils aged 16-19. It has transformed the quality of provision for that age group. The benefits of hydrotherapy are well documented and the entire school community are thrilled that such a facility will be arriving onsite here at Roddensvale. The hydrotherapy pool will make a considerable difference, particularly to those pupils with complex medical and physical needs."

In conclusion, the Minister said:

“I thank Principal Madden and the Board of Governors for inviting me to mark this special day in the life of Roddensvale School. The Staff, Support staff and everyone involved with the school make a real difference to the lives of so many children, young people and their families.

“I am sure that both the pool and the new extension will provide benefits for the school and the local community for many years to come.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. 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 nidirect - Education Works for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  2. See photos from the Department of Education in our flickr collection.
  3. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699715440 and your call will be returned.

Share this page

Back to top