Six more schools to proceed to construction on the School Enhancement Programme

Date published: 10 July 2015

Education Minister John O’Dowd has said a further six schools can proceed to construction on the School Enhancement Programme.

The School Enhancement Programme (SEP) was announced in 2013 for construction projects costing between £500,000 and £4,000,000. The programme is targeted to meet the immediate and pressing needs in schools, through smaller scale works, where a new build capital works is not deemed deliverable.

The six schools proceeding are:

· Millington Primary School, Craigavon
· Dalriada School, Ballymoney
· Donard Special School, Banbridge
· Rainey Endowed (Phase II), Magherafelt
· The Armstrong Primary School, Armagh
· Ceara Special School, Lurgan

Commenting on the decision the Minister said:

“Ongoing investment in our schools estate is essential if we are to continue to provide a quality education. The School Enhancement Programme is an important way of providing this much needed work.

 My department and the Executive more widely face enormous challenges as a result of the reductions imposed on us by the Westminster government. All aspects of the education sector have suffered including the capital budget. This meant that some of SEP projects were unfortunately unable to move to construction due to the constrained capital budget position.

"The announcement I am making today reflects prudent in-year management of the limited capital resources I have available to me at this time. This will bring the number of SEP projects on site to 28.

 The improved and new accommodation at these schools will provide better facilities for young people to learn in and an improved working environment for all the school staff. This also represents a welcome boost for the construction industry.” 

Notes to editors: 

1. The six SEP Projects advancing are:

School - Approved cost - Planned works

  • Millington PS - £3,875k - New 12 classroom extension plus refurbishments; improvements to traffic management and play area.
  • Dalriada School - £2,190k - New multi-purpose hall.
  • Donard Special School - £1,184k - Classroom extension to replace current modular accommodation.
  • Rainey Phase 2 - £2,048k - Refurbishment of existing classrooms and new PE facility.
  • The Armstrong - £2,450k - Extension, refurbishment and M & E works to meet handbook standards for the school.
  • Ceara Special School - £2,278k - Extension to provide additional classroom; replacement of current temporary accommodation with permanent building.

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 nidirect for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.

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4. 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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