Central move ‘ill thought’ say DUP pair in support pledge

Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson and Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale with Dromore High School principal John Wilkinson and Dromore Central Primary School principal Linda Allen.
Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson and Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale with Dromore High School principal John Wilkinson and Dromore Central Primary School principal Linda Allen.

The Education Department must be held to account for the “ill thought decision” to build a 25-classroom replacement for Dromore Central Primary School instead of the 28-class school originally proposed.

That’s according to Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale, one of two leading local politicians to recently pledge ongoing support to Dromore Central, and Dromore High School, in terms of securing newbuild replacement schools sufficient to meet future needs.

Mrs Hale and Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson both promised continuing support for the Dromore schools.

“Through my role in the Northern Ireland Assembly, “ said Mrs Hale, “I will continue to lobby the Minister of Education to ensure that the capital funding is made available to proceed with the development of the new High School at the Quillyburn site.

“I am also working closely with Dromore Central Principal, Mrs Linda Allen, in support of the Primary School’s campaign for additional classroom provision for the new Primary School.

“The original plan was for 28 classrooms. The revision to 25 classrooms will present serious challenges that should not be faced in a newbuild school.

“The Education Department’s forward planning must be held to account over such an ill thought decision.”

The two DUP politicians were among the guests at Dromore High School’s annual Speech Night recently.

Mr Donaldson said later: “We were delighted to attend the Annual Prize Night.

“Congratulations must go to all the pupils and staff on their excellent achievements.

“Our best wishes also must go to the Principal, John Wilkinson, who is due to retire in February.

“He has been a great leader over many years and the school’s success is due in no small measure to his efforts.

“I, along with Brenda and my party colleagues, will continue to support both Dromore High School and Dromore Central as they work to see the fruition of their vision for academic excellence for the local area.”