Call for Education Authority support

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

The Education Authority must give its support to help staff and the Board of Governors address safeguarding issues at Craigavon Senior High School.

The call follows an inspection report published in March of this year which highlighted a number of issues of concern at the school.

In that report a telling footnote said the Department of Education would be seeking an assurance from the Education Authority that they are working with the school in relation to the inspection report.

Sources close to the senior high say it is critical the Education Authority offers the school the support it needs.

In an update at the end of the school term the senior high school said: “Governors and staff of CSHS are committed to developing a thriving and successful school which plays a key role in the Dickson Plan family of schools. Our high school provides a vital learning pathway for over 600 pupils from Lurgan and Portadown.

“Some parents have approached the school to ask about whether the school will continue to operate across two campuses in the future. As many parents will know some of our facilities are in need of attention especially on the Lurgan campus. It is important to note that our governors are not the decision makers.

“The Education Authority are the planning authority for Controlled Schools. It would be their intention to engage with a range of interested stakeholders in education and the local community about possible ways forward that would address the problems we are facing in respect of our current accommodation.

“Any decision has to be made by the Minister of the day or in their absence, the Permanent Secretary in the Department of Education. No decisions have been made and governors have been reassured that the EA will run a consultation on options for the future in the Autumn and make a recommendation to the Department of Education.

“In the meantime, it is business as usual for us. We will be implementing our revised and exciting new curriculum from September which will operate across both of our sites providing rewarding learning opportunities for all of our pupils. The Education Authority has already addressed some of our accommodation issues and will be working over the summer break.”

In the inspection report published earlier this year school inspectors said: “Based on the evidence available at the time of the inspection, the arrangements for safeguarding pupils are unsatisfactory.”

However, a follow-up inspection was conducted and inspectors reported: “On the basis of the evidence available, the revised arrangements now reflect broadly the guidance issued by the Department of Education. The Education Authority (EA) have worked with the school and the governors to complete a health and safety audit which identifies the necessary work that needs to take place on both the Lurgan and Portadown campuses.

“The school, in conjunction with the EA, have put in place a number of short term mitigating actions to address the areas for improvement identified.”