College to recruit 14 more teaching staff after expansion news

A flourishing Co Armagh school is to recruit 14 more teaching staff after news it is expand - with the addition of 200 pupils.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 10:35 am

St John the Baptist College has been given the official go-ahead to expand from 300 to 500 pupils by the Education Minister.

And now the school has advertised for 14 additional teaching staff.

Principal Noella Murray welcomed the news describing it as a ‘momentous’ stage in the growth of the school.

St John the Baptist College, Portadown. Photo courtesy of Google.

She explained that the College had opened as a new school in September 2017 following the approval of the then Education Minister, John O’Dowd.

Following the growth and success of the new school across its first few years, a further expansion was proposed.

On Monday, the school will be offering Key Stage 4 GCSE provision and an increased enrolment, approved by Mr Peter Weir, the current Education Minister.

Ms Murray said: “The news of ministerial approval for DP 646 marks another momentous stage in the growth of St John the Baptist’s College.

St John the Baptist College, Portadown. Photo courtesy of Google.

“This decision is a strong endorsement of the success of the new college during its first four years. In this short period of time, the college has flourished and we are currently oversubscribed.

“This success is testament to the dedication shown by our staff and governors and the unwavering belief, trust and support we have received from our parents and wider school community. We are delighted for our pupils that they can now remain on in a school, in which they are happy and thriving through to KS4/GCSE level.

“We also acknowledge the support we have received from our local politicians, our colleagues in the CCMS, EA, ETI and our myriad of community based partners.”

SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly said: “It is a wonderful testimony to the leadership team, staff, board of governors and parents that St John the Baptist College has been supported by the Minister for Education, Peter Weir, who has agreed the development proposal to increase the number of admissions from 300 to 500 pupils.

“This is fantastic news and a real vote of confidence in the College and in Portadown.

“The campaign, however, is not yet over as the re-designation of the school to 11-18 status continues but we’ve come a long way from the days when past primary Catholic and maintained education in Portadown was on the verge of extinction.

Party colleague Cllr Eamon McNeill added: “It will be very reassuring for parents and children that they can now be taught up to GCSE level at their local college. I want to congratulate and thank the whole school community in their hard work and dedication which has made this possible.”

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