Shared Education: Ballycastle

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:45 pm on 18th October 2021.

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Photo of Mervyn Storey Mervyn Storey DUP 2:45 pm, 18th October 2021

T7. Mr Storey asked the Minister of Education, after her time in his constituency a few weeks ago, for which he thanked her, to visit a number of schools, including Ballycastle High School, that are getting new builds and to see at first hand the plans, whether she is content, albeit there are some concerns about the procurement process, that sufficient progress is being made and that the much-needed scheme and plan, which is an exemplary example of shared education, will be delivered. (AQT 1687/17-22)

Photo of Michelle McIlveen Michelle McIlveen DUP

I thank the Member for his question. I had an interesting day in North Antrim, although it was a very long one. I very much appreciated the opportunity to visit the Ballycastle campus and meet those from the two schools involved in it. When the Member was the Chair of the Education Committee, he was passionate about shared education, particularly that example, which has now been in place since the 1960s. It was a real trailblazer for shared education and shows how it works. As a reward for the hard work and vision of those who have gone before, I would be delighted to see the project move forward.

As the Member said, owing to current uncertainty in the construction market, there has been some delay in appointing a contractor for the project. The procurement process is ongoing, however. My Department continues to work towards appointing a contractor in the near future.

Photo of Roy Beggs Roy Beggs UUP

That ends the period for topical questions to the Minister of Education. I ask Members to take their ease for a few moments before the next period of questions.