Belfast Telegraph

MP meets Ruane over schools

East Belfast MP Naomi Long and MLA Chris Lyttle met with the Education Minister Caitriona Ruane to raise concerns about delays to school building projects, including Tor Bank, Victoria Park Primary and Strandtown Primary.

They also raised education provision in inner east Belfast and access to nursery school places.

Ms Long said: “Whilst we fully understand the financial constraints within which every minister has to operate, there are real frustrations at the speed of progress with the new builds for these schools and also with how the process has been handled.

“In the case of Victoria Park Primary, the new build was promised during the amalgamation of three schools and as such is long overdue; however, the school is also now also having to accommodate pupils who have transferred from Beechfield Primary School in a building which is far from ideal.

“The delay in Strandtown's proposal, which was deemed partially compliant at the beginning of the summer, was also of real concern both in terms of the reasons for that assessment and the way in which it was communicated to the school.”

A Department spokesperson said the Minister had emphasised that major capital school projects were dependent on funding and reiterated her commitment to press her Executive colleagues for further resources.

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