£1 million to ease pressure on Dungannon schools

Sperrinview Special School Dungannon.INTT4012-318SR
Sperrinview Special School Dungannon.INTT4012-318SR

OVER £1million is set to be invested in six Dungannon District schools to ease pressures on the local educational system.

The major outlay will be spent on new classrooms, toilet blocks, resource areas, cloakrooms, and playgrounds.

Many local schools are suffering from overcrowding problems, substandard accommodation and over reliance on temporary classrooms, with latest figures showing that just over one hundred mobile classrooms have popped up on local school grounds in the past four years.

That’s in addition to 265 mobile classrooms already in situ at schools in the Mid-Ulster and South Tyrone areas, according to figures released by the Department of Education.

The area has also been badly affected by a funding black hole in the school building programme which had mothballed plans to construct new multi-million pound state-of-the-art buildings at St Patrick’s Academy, Edendork Primary School, Gaelscoil Ui Neill, Coalisland, and Holy Trinity College, Cookstown.

The situation is likely to get worse with Dungannon’s population boom predicted to continue for at least another decade, putting further strain on popular schools with a surge in school-age children numbers.

A large number of local primary schools are already over-capacity and have had to apply to the department of education for special permission to take on extra pupils.

The local schools to benefit from the latest funding are Bush Primary School, Killyman Primary School, St Patrick’s Primary School, St Patrick’s Academy, Gaelscoil Aodha Rua, and Sperrinview Special School.