Education Minister John O’Dowd has announced that three shared education campuses have been selected to proceed to the planning stage. The campuses will be the first of 10 which the Executive aims to commence work on within the next five years. He commented that the initiative has generated “a significant level of interest” and had received 16 applications from schools wishing to improve or provide shared facilities.
The site for the Lisanelly campus project (pictured above) is currently being prepared and this will act as a template for future shared campuses.
“I believe shared education has the potential to deliver real educational benefits, to ensure best use of resources and to further community cohesion,” commented O’Dowd. The projects will provide shared STEM and sixth form facilities for three schools in Limavady and two campuses for selected schools in Moy and Ballycastle.
The Shared Education Campuses Programme was announced in January, with a deadline of 31 March for schools to register their interest. The Minister acknowledged the limited time for proposals to meet the deadline and announced a second call for projects in September. He also hoped that schools who were unsuccessful this time and had received feedback on their proposals would resubmit them.
“The three projects selected will build on well-established sharing arrangements between the schools involved,” O’Dowd related. “I am confident that we will have additional successful projects to announce in the future.”