Antrim Alliance Councillor Alan Lawther has welcomed the announcement of £380 million capital investment for Northern Ireland schools, but called for sharing of resources to ensure the money has maximum efficiency.
Cllr Lawther stated: “This investment is clearly tremendous news for around 22,000 pupils who will be able to work, play and learn in up to date buildings. Many will no longer have to use temporary classrooms. In Antrim, Parkhall is to have a new school building on the same site costing £12.4 million. I hope this project can be completed quickly to help solve the problems of incorporating those pupils transferring from Massereene Community College next year. If so, these pupils need not fear finishing off their education in temporary classrooms.
“I also am delighted that Templepatrick Primary school is to be rebuilt with £2.8 million allocated for this project. Again this will allow for many temporary classrooms to be replaced as this school was designed for only seven classes and now needs 14.
“I would strongly call for the Minister for Education to follow up on her encouragement the different educational sectors to explore sharing limited resources. This will require Government proposals to ensure schools are helped financially to share facilities.
“This is important not just for economic reasons, but because where pupils from different cultures and backgrounds meet and interact, greater understanding and respect for each other will develop. That is always to be encouraged in our society.”