Rowandale gets numbers boost


Rowandale Integrated Primary School is being given increased pupil capacity.

Education Minister John O’Dowd has approved a development proposal to increase the admission and enrolment numbers at the Moira school.

The Minister said: “I am agreeing to this development proposal in line with my duty to encourage and facilitate the development of integrated education.

“This approval is granted on the condition that the school will achieve an admission number of 57 pupils from September 2015 and in subsequent years. Growth at this school should be through a managed process of expansion from Year 1. Over time the school will become a double Year 1 class school, with a maximum overall enrolment of 399.”

The Department will keep the progress of the school under review to ensure that the proposed enrolment targets are met.

Continuing, the Minister said: “I will require the Board of Governors of the school to monitor closely the continuing relevance of an admission number of 57 over the next two years, i.e. September 2015 and September 2016, and to provide me with an annual report updating me on the admission numbers.

“Should the school fail to achieve the approved admission number of 57 during this period, I expect the Board of Governors to bring forward a further development proposal to adjust the admission and enrolment number from September 2017 to reflect the position at the school at that time.”

The Minister also indicated that the future financial situation is constrained and any additional classrooms required will have to be judged against any unmet demand at the school and in the context of availability of resources and other competing priorities at that time.

Principal Frances Hughes said: “Rowandale is the only integrated school in this area and this decision will ensure that all families who wish to choose integrated education will be able to do so.”