O’Dowd approves nursery unit at Iveagh Primary School

Date published: 02 June 2015

Education Minister John O'Dowd has approved the establishment of a new 26 place part-time nursery unit at Iveagh Primary School in Rathfriland.

Explaining the reasons for his decision, Mr O’Dowd commented:

“The evidence clearly demonstrates that there is a need for more pre-school places for the benefit of the children in the Rathfriland area. However, I am mindful that the current admissions process for 2015/16 pre-school places is nearing completion and I do not wish to impact on the decisions already made for those pupils.  In addition, the necessary infrastructure cannot be in place for this September so I am therefore modifying the proposal to be implemented from 1 September 2016, or as soon as possible thereafter.

It is well-established that high quality pre-school education has a positive long-term impact on children’s educational outcomes.  To this end, a key Programme for Government target for my Department is to provide a funded place in the immediate pre-school year for all children whose parents wish it.  This new provision at Iveagh Primary School will help achieve this aim in the Rathfriland area.

The new nursery unit will replace the current reception provision at Iveagh Primary School and will provide pre-school places to children who would otherwise have to travel outside their immediate locality to access nursery provision.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. On 13 October 2014, the Southern Education and Library Board (SELB) published Development Proposal (DP) No. 316, which proposed that a nursery unit be established at Iveagh Primary School, Rathfriland 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.
  3. Visit nidirect for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  4. See photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection 
  5. 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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