McGuinness opens Sperrin Integrated College
Sinn Féin deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who approved the initial funding for Sperrin Integrated College when he was Education Minister, returned there today to officially open the school's new £11.55million premises in Magherafelt.
In December 2001, when he was Minister for Education, Martin McGuinness, MP, MLA announced that he was approving funding for the new post primary college which at that time had 78 pre-enrolment applications. The school has now a student population of over 400 with its year eight intake oversubscribed.
Speaking as he performed the official opening of the new buildings, the deputy First Minister said: "It is a pleasure to be asked to perform the official opening of such a valuable resource for education. This is particularly so since I was in at the start of this initiative and am here again to mark its completion.
"This school is a resource that will add so much to the lives of the children and young people who will spend their formative years here. Education is going through a period of change, with many important reforms underway. One issue of concern is the impact of demographic decline, resulting in empty desks in many schools. There is however, growing demand for education across a range of sectors and we recognise and respond positively to these parental choices.
"Above all, we must ensure our education system treats all our children equally, allowing each individual to reach their fullest potential. I am sure all the children and young people attending Sperrin Integrated College will make best use of this magnificent facility to do just that."
The College first opened its door in September 2002 on a temporary site at the present Spires Integrated Primary School. The following year it moved to the present site at Pound Road where it was housed in temporary accommodation which since then has been replaced by state of the art facilities which were completed towards the end of last year.