Campus not ‘fit for purpose’

Craigavon Senior High School, Lurgan Campus. INLM39-221.
Craigavon Senior High School, Lurgan Campus. INLM39-221.

Renewed calls for a purpose-built Lurgan campus of Craigavon Senior High School have been made after a damning report was revealed this week.

The Internal Review of Craigavon Senior High School Lurgan Campus which was published in December 2016 is labelled as ‘confidential’ and ‘Not to be shared without Director Approval’.

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie slammed the Education Authority after the report was leaked.

Director of Education John Collings voiced ‘significant concerns’ relating to the Lurgan campus and ordered the internal review after a visit in 2016. The concerns related to health and safety, well-being and safeguarding issues for both staff and pupils, and the suitability of the campus to deliver a high quality education.

The Director met school’s governors and wrote to local post primary schools to keep them informed. The report said the review was not about reopening debate and discussion of the Dickson Plan but focused entirely on the suitability of the Lurgan Campus of CSHS.

It revealed that as far back as 2010 governors had raised concerns about the unsuitability of the Lurgan campus and duplication across both campuses.

It concluded that in relation to the personal safety of students, the campus was not fit for purpose. The report recommended that the building be made safe in the short term and safeguarding concerns addressed immediately.

It was also recommended that Lurgan campus should close and a more suitable site be found for current students.

Also that consideration be given to discontinuing a split site to ensure the school remains financially viable.

A spokesperson for the EA said: “There is broad agreement across all stakeholders that short, medium and long-term action is required in relation to the Lurgan campus of Craigavon Senior High School.

“We will continue to support the staff and governors of Craigavon Senior High School as they seek to continue to improve standards and care for the pupils on both campuses. Craigavon Senior High School is an important part of the Dickson Plan family of schools and will continue to receive the support it requires.

“In the longer term, any proposal for change will be subject to a full consultation process and we will continue to engage with all relevant stakeholders.”