Two Derry primary schools have received funding for specialist nurture units to help children with emotional difficulties.
Education minister John O’Dowd confirmed that Holy Family Primary School, Ballymagroarty and St Brigid’s Primary School, Carnhill, together with eight other schools across the North will benefit from a £1.1 million funding boost for the specialist units.
Nurture units cater for small groups of children in the school environment and help address barriers to learning arising from social, emotional or behavioural difficulties.
Mr O’Dowd said: “Nurture units can play a key role in tackling under-achievement early in a child’s life by providing targeted support to where it is most needed.”
The announcement was welcomed by Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin who said it will help children in disadvantaged areas. “I am delighted that Holy Family and St. Brigid’s Primary Schools have been included in today’s announcement,” Ms McLaughlin said.
“I have been engaging with the minister for some time on the crucial role that nurture units can play and recently invited him to Derry to see the benefits first-hand.
“Today’s announcement is a firm commitment to the principle of nurture and early intervention for children in greatest need. It is also in addition to the funding for 20 new nurture units announced by the First and Deputy First Ministers in October.
“Nurture units play a key role in tackling under-achievement early in a child’s life by providing targeted support and I would like to congratulate the Minister for the leadership he has shown on this issue,” she said.