Lurgan College, its governors, its staff, its pupils and its supportive community have acted with truth and integrity and have exposed the disingenuousness, trickery and deceit of others at every opportunity in the battle to save the Dickson plan.
That was the message from Lurgan College principal Mr Trevor Robinson as he appealed to those who had sought to destroy the Dickson plan to remove their threats,
Speaking at the school’s annual speech day he said: “Truth is concrete and it is upon truth and honesty that our whole campaign to protect our much cherished Dickson Plan has been based.”
Welcoming SELB representative Philip Campbell he pointed out: “The SELB’s bizarre decision last year not to embark on any minor improvements until the whole Area Plan had been finally agreed was sensibly rescinded and I am pleased to report that your young people now have access to a safe walkway between the school building and the emergency evacuation point. I am also pleased to report that significant work is currently taking place to improve the quality of the pupils’ changing accommodation.
“The SELB has clearly demonstrated the ability to listen regarding these operational matters; it is our hope that they will now listen regarding more strategic matters.
“This time last year the anger of this community was palpable. Option A had been rejected overwhelmingly by this community and yet the Board seemed intent on driving through an unwelcome Development Proposal based on this comprehensive option. As the result of another wider consultation exercise conducted by the SELB in January of this year, it became increasingly obvious to all that proceeding to a Development Plan with an Option, which no sane or right-thinking person wanted, would be morally, socially, legally and educationally unsafe and the SELB eventually decided in February 2014 not to proceed with Option A which was removed from the table.
“So, is that the end of the story? Not by a long shot, nor should it be. We are left with no solution to the issue which should have received all the focus and attention in the first place – the structural and accommodation problems which exist within our non-selective sister school, Craigavon Senior High.”
He went on: “I have no fear of the truth and the truth is a truly independent academic report, fettered by no-one and characterised by truth and integrity... will hold up the Dickson Plan as a model of education which should not be abandoned but rather enhanced and even rolled out across the Province and beyond.”