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New Learning Support Centres for Coleraine primary schools

17 January, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, has announced that applications to establish Key Stage 1 and 2 Learning Support Centres at three Coleraine primary schools have been approved.

The centres will now be established at Ballysally, D H Christie Memorial and Harpur's Hill primary schools.

The re-designation of the current Moderate Learning Difficulty unit provision as Learning Support Centres will enable specialist support within mainstream provision for children with a wider range of special education needs than at present. The establishment of Key Stage 1 and 2 provision at all three schools means that children attending specialist mainstream provision will no longer be required to transfer to another primary school at the end of Year 4.

Commenting on the decision, Caitríona Ruane said:

"These proposals aim to build on already high standards, with all three schools offering the effective inclusion of children with special educational needs.

"I visited each of the schools to meet with staff and pupils and view the excellent work being undertaken. I am confident that this decision will greatly benefit the children concerned as the schools will now be able to provide continuity of specialist support for children with special educational needs right through their primary school years." ENDS


On 8 May 2007, the North Eastern Education and Library Board (NEELB) published Development Proposals No's 232, 233 and 234. They proposed establishing Key Stage 1 and Stage 2 Learning Support Centres (LSC's) at Ballysally, D H Christie Memorial and Harpurs Hill Primary Schools, with effect from 1 September 2008, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Currently, Ballysally Primary School has a Moderate Learning Difficulty (MLD) unit offering only Key Stage 1 provision, whilst D.H. Christie Memorial and Harpur's Hill Primary Schools have MLD units, offering Key Stage 2 provision. The current Development Proposals, therefore, aim to convert the MLD units into Learning Support Centres and establish Key Stage 1 and 2 provision at each of the three schools.

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