Dromore school pleas reach Assembly floor

Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale with Dromore Central Primary School principal Mrs Linda Allen and Steven Carlisle, Vice-Principal, preparing for the adjournment debate.
Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale with Dromore Central Primary School principal Mrs Linda Allen and Steven Carlisle, Vice-Principal, preparing for the adjournment debate.

Dromore Central Primary School’s campaign for

additional classrooms in its new home under construction will get an airing on the floor of the Northern Ireland Assembly today (Tuesday).

Leading the charge on behalf of the school will be Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale, who is calling on Stormont Education Minister John O’Dowd to “see reason”.

Originally envisaged as a 28-classroom school, Dromore Central’s replacement is going ahead as a 25-classroom school.

The education authorities insist it offers ample accommodation while Dromore Central principal Linda Allen and local campaigners argue the shift from original proposals robs the replacement building of its ability to fulfil the very purpose for which it is being built.

On board since the outset, Mrs Hale has introduced an adjournment debate she hopes will ramp up a campaign which has already seen pupils arrive at Stormont in a failed attempt to meet Mr O’Dowd, later producing their own video, while a petition was also raised in support of the school’s aims.

“Just recently, “ said Mrs Hale, “I presented the speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly with the public petition, which contained thousands of signatures, calling on the Education Minister to reconsider and allow additional classroom space provision for the new primary school build.

“The children of Dromore Central Primary have also been proactive in this campaign, producing a Youtube video entitled, ‘Please Mr Minister’ which we would encourage people to view and ‘like’.

“ I have been working closely with the school and both Mrs Allen and I are most appreciative of the support that this campaign has received from the general public.

“I will again be bringing this matter to the floor of the Northern Ireland Assembly through an adjournment debate and calling on the Education Board and the Education Minister to listen to reason.”

The adjournment debate is scheduled to take place this afternoon (Tuesday, February 17) at about 5pm.

It can be viewed live via the Northern Ireland Assembly website.