THE principal at Drumadonnell Primary School has welcomed the approval of a 26-place nursery unit.
Keith Spiers said last week’s announcement of 26 part-time places is a good news story for the area and a much-needed boost for the popular school.
Mr Spiers said, “The quest for the establishment of a nursery unit at this rural school goes back over twelve years to when the school was being built. Drumadonnell Primary School has seen significant growth since its opening with 202 children currently enrolled.
“I pay tribute to members of the Board of Governors, past and present, who persisted in their efforts to have such a facility at the school. He also thanked members of staff, parents, political representatives, groups within the community and other individuals who had actively supported the campaign.”
Mr Spiers said the Education Minister had recognised a need for pre-school provision in the area and thanked him for approving the application during a difficult economic time.
South Down UUP MLA John McCallister added his warm welcome to the announcement.
“This really is great news for the area and is something I and many colleagues have been pushing for some time now,” he said. “I’ve spoken to a number of local parents over the weekend and they too are understandably ecstatic at the news.
“For years now local parents have had to travel to other nursery units and this impacts greatly on day to day routines for already busy mothers and fathers and indeed grandparents.
“The importance of pre-school education and early years intervention cannot be underestimated. This really is wonderful news for Drumadonnell Primary School and the surrounding area.”
Making the announcement last week Education Minister Mr O’Dowd said, “The establishment of these new facilities will be a welcome announcement and will provide nursery provision to children who currently travel outside their immediate locality to access a pre-school place.
“It is common knowledge that my Department faces significant financial pressures, particularly on its front-line schools’ budget. It is therefore important that we maximise the impact of available pre-school resources and avoid unnecessary over-provision or duplication. On this occasion there was a clear gap in provision and a need to create more pre-school places for the benefit of the children in the area.”