Numbers boost for Richmount school and playgroup on way
Plans for Richmount Playgroup are also set to go ahead, with the new facility due to open in September.
The school had been oversubscribed for the new term in September, with 24 applications for Primary 1 and only 23 places available, but a recalculation by the Department of Education means no pupils will be turned away.
The school’s enrolment number has also increased and now stands at 140, as opposed to the previous figure of 134.
Principal Mark Hall said the admissions number had been increased after it was pointed out to the Department of Education that floor space created during an extension in 2005/2006 hadn’t been taken into account when calculating the enrolment numbers for the school.
Said Mr Hall, “We re delighted that the issue has been resolved and so is the child’s family. The Department of Education has tightened up the whole admissions procedure, and has been sticking rigidly to the regulations.
“However, when the omission was brought to their attention they acted swiftly and I would like to thank the school’s access team within the department for their help.”
Upper Bann DUP MLA Sydney Anderson, who is a member of the school’s Board of Governors, also welcomed the decision, saying he had been working with the school to have the issue resolved.
The school is also hopeful that work will start on a new sports hall within the coming year, Said Mr Hall, “I have been lobbying the Southern Education and Library Board (SELB) for the past five years and we heard last week that the project has been moved the Priority One list on the minor works programme,
“We hope the SELB will have sufficient funds to go ahead with the project this year.”
At the moment, the school uses a classroom as its sports hall, assembly and canteen but, as Mr Hall points out, it is difficult to accommodate a whole class for PE on a wet day.
Meanwhile, plans to start a playgroup in the area are to go ahead in September, after an “excellent response” to the proposal and a questionnaire that was distributed in the area.
For the first year, the playgroup will be held at Richmount PS but it is planned to relocate it to a site on the Derrylettiff Road. It will run from 9am-1pm and staff recruitment will start in mid-June.
A management committee has been formed which consists mainly of parents of prospective pupils. Although the playgroup is managed by an independent group, it has the backing of the school and Mr Hall is its chairman.
He said, “We identified a need within the community and hopefully, children will fed on from the playgroup to the primary school. There is lots happening in the community out here, and the school is used night and day; the youth club meets two nights a week and the community association holds meetings and classes such as line dancing and zumba.”
Joe Garvey, secretary of the playgroup committee, said, “There are still a few place left but anyone interested should let us know as soon as possible. Children must be three before they can be admitted but they can join during the year when they reach three, subject to places being available.”
Application forms are available from Richmount Primary School, Tel 3835 7929.
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