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Decision on increased capacity at Orchard County Primary School

Education Minister, John ODowd, has turned down a development proposal to increase capacity at Orchard County Primary School.
Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Commenting on the decision, Mr O’Dowd said: “My Department faces significant financial pressures particularly on its front-line schools’ budget. It is therefore important that we maximise the impact of available resources and avoid unnecessary overprovision or duplication.

“Although enrolment numbers have grown steadily at Orchard County Primary School in recent years, the school has yet to fill to capacity and there are also a significant number of surplus places at other controlled primary schools in the area. I am of the opinion, therefore, that there are sufficient places to meet the demand from parents in the locality at this time. On that basis I can not endorse this proposal.”

Notes to editors:

  1. On 14 September 2012, the Southern Education and Library Board (SELB) published Development Proposal No. 276, which proposed to increase the capacity at Orchard County Primary School, from five class base (116-145 pupils) to 6 class base (146-175 pupils), with effect from 1 September 2013, or as soon as possible thereafter.
  2. Orchard County is a co-educational controlled primary school located on the Blackisland Road, Portadown. The school currently has 139 pupils enrolled in P1 to P7 and a further 26 children in its nursery unit.
  3. The school has an approved enrolment number (capacity) of 145 pupils and P1 admission number of 21 pupils.
  4. The Department of Education has launched a new ‘Education Works’ advertising campaign. The campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect website for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  5. View photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection.
  6. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699715440 and your call will be returned.