Alliance representatives have welcomed a decision to increase both admission and enrolment numbers at Drumragh Integrated College.
Education spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA and Alliance West Tyrone spokesperson Stephen Donnelly were speaking after it was revealed Drumragh’s long fought for development proposal had finally succeeded.
“Drumragh has been over-subscribed for the majority of the past decade but unbelievably the Department refused the application twice, which flew in the face of their statutory duty to ‘encourage and facilitate the development of integrated education,'” said Mr Lyttle.
“Alliance representatives have long pushed for an expansion, including bringing Assembly motions and recently sending a letter to the Department of Education on behalf of the college. This news is a major step forward for all who supported it and integrated education in Northern Ireland.
“The education of our children together is a vital step towards building a united community and studies continually show the strong support for it. Drumragh will now be better placed to meet the local demand.”
Mr Donnelly, a former pupil of the school, said he was absolutely delighted by the news.
“This breakthrough has not been an overnight success but rather the result of years of determined campaigning in the face of the tough local political opposition to the growth of integrated education by successive Education Ministers.
“Alliance has been a consistent and strong supporter of this expansion. As a former pupil, I can testify to the positive contribution the College makes to the lives of children across the community in Omagh and further afield.
“Alongside the development of the new Omagh Integrated Campus, these changes will have a positive transformative effect on education locally. My heartfelt congratulations go to everyone who never gave up and helped give every child the opportunity of an inclusive learning experience.”