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DROMORE High’s Board of Governors is determined to pile on the pressure in pursuit of a new home for the school.

Delighted with swift progress in respect of new sixth-form provision, the Board is committed to securing a new building to house the expanding school, which now educates 914 pupils.

With demand outstripping supply, the High School’s future sustainability is in no doubt, say members, but a new building, fit for purpose, must be made reality.

It was only this September that Dromore High School celebrated its first full admission of pupils from Years Eight to 14.

“Presently the school supports 789 pupils in Years Eight – 12,” a spokesperson said, “with a further 125 in Years 13 and 14. Fortunately the new admissions policy emanating from The Department of Education enabled the school to admit additional numbers within its own admissions criteria

“However, it is obvious that the initial enrolment number of 100 students in sixth-form is much less than the demand for places. In two successive years the total applications for admission into sixth- form was 100 and 130.

“This is not surprising, since the curriculum offer is wide and is quite distinctive among the other non- selective schools in the area in that the majority of subjects offered are delivered inside Dromore High School. Only one other school in the Area Learning Community offers the width of subjects in-house.

“In total 22 subjects are taken by pupils in the school – 17 delivered in-house with a minority of pupils accessing the five other subjects through community collaboration; a total of 20 students have accessed one of the collaborative courses through the Learning Community either at SRC or Banbridge Academy – BTEC Engineering/Creative Media, A’ Level Sociology, Moving Image Arts, and Home Economics.

“In terms of giving back to the community we have been able to facilitate 21 students from other schools in the area with BTEC Performing Arts, A’ Level Psychology and Technology at Dromore High.

“The Governors are delighted with the progress made in such a short time and are determined to support this development with added pressure on The Department of Education to secure a new building.

“Their commitment has been evidenced by the school paying for a refurbished library, new interview rooms, a new social area for Post-16 and a new study area continuously supervised by a member of Staff.”

Dromore High School and its Board of Governors hope the Southern Education Board will continue its efforts to pressure the Department of Education for a new building.

“What it (Dromore High School) needs now,” the spokesperson said, “is a building fit for purpose. In terms of sustainability into the future Dromore High School’s future is not in doubt.

“However, the Department needs to find the will and the way to make a new school building a reality.”