THE community of Lurgan participated recently in a consultation exercise organised by the SELB regarding the future of educational provision in the area.
They voted overwhelmingly for the retention of the current Craigavon Two Tier System which has served this area so well for over 40 years. The community rejected all forms of collegiate structures which would result in the loss of the school’s very prestigious grammar school. The latest SELB proposal which involves a bi-lateral, comprehensive structure has also been comprehensively rejected.
The governors of Lurgan College have a clear vision for the development of the school as part of the Craigavon Two Tier System and are confident that they have the community and political support to turn that precious vision into reality.
In 2009 the Minister of Education decided to hold back on the allocation of funding for a plan which had been agreed at Department of Education level two years earlier. The Minister bemoaned the lack of an area plan. The governors have a plan, a ‘fit for purpose’ plan – it is called the Dickson Plan.
There has been significant movement on the part of the SELB to address some of the shortcomings in relation to accommodation at the school. A new Mac Suite and refurbished Art and Music facilities have just been opened. Everyone at the school is also very excited that work is well underway for the provision of a new Astroturf hockey pitch at the school. This will mean that from September the recently crowned All Ireland Champions will play their first ‘home’ match for over 6 years!
Consultations come and go; proposals come and go; ideological, value-bereft notions come and go; successful, well tried and well tested educational structures, however, which command almost universal community support are not so easily torn down. Here’s to the next 140 years of Lurgan College serving the young people of Lurgan as the top class grammar school they deserve and to which they have a fundamental right.