A delegation from two Derry schools campaigning for a shared campus in Derry’s expanding northern suburbs were welcomed to the Guildhall by the Mayor, Councillor Maoilíosa McHugh and members of Derry City and Strabane district Council recently.
Gaelscoil na Daróige and Groarty Integrated Primary School have been collaborating and cooperating to the mutual benefit of the two schools over the past number of years.
However, the schools’ joint bid for a modern new shared campus in the growing Ballymagroarty and Skeoge area, was earlier this year recommended for refusal by the Education Authority (EA).
Oisín Mac Eó, a parent and former principal of Gaelscoil na Daróige who was involved in the application process, commented: “The failure of the Department of Education (DE) to fulfill its statutory duty to promote Irish Medium and Integrated Education is one the reasons society has not moved on in the last twenty years.
“The work between these two schools over the last few years has brought communities together and improved educational outcomes for our children.
“A new campus would meet the needs of the 3,000 homes due to be built on its doorstep.
“There can be no denying the community support here today as we outlined in our original application.”
Mr. Mac Eó, urged DE’s Permanent Secretary, Derek Baker, to back the application, which has attracted cross-party from the local council.
“If the EA don’t have the vision to support our application we need to see real leadership shown at the highest level of the Department and call on Derek Baker to approve our Shared Campus.”
The Education Authority has givenits view that the joint campus application does not meet the six criteria in the Department of Education (DE) ‘Schools for the Future: A Policy for Sustainable Schools (SSP)’, document.