Belfast Telegraph

O’Dowd approves proposal to increase capacity at St Jarlath’s Primary School

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Education

Education Minister, John O’Dowd has approved a development proposal to increase capacity at St Jarlath’s Primary School, Blackwatertown.

Commenting on the decision, Mr O’Dowd said: “St Jarlath’s is a popular school and in recent years it has regularly surpassed its current enrolment capacity.

“Although there are some unfilled places at alternative schools in the local area, enrolment trends indicate that there are insufficient places to meet the current demand for primary one places. The proposal is also consistent with the ongoing area planning work being undertaken by the SELB and CCMS. In this context I am content to approve the proposal.”

Notes to editors:

1. On 18 February 2013, the Southern Education and Library Board (SELB) published Development Proposal No. 284 which proposed to increase the capacity at St Jarlath’s Primary School, Blackwatertown, from 158-210 pupils, with effect from 1 September 2013, or as soon as possible thereafter.

2. St Jarlath’s PS is a co-educational maintained primary school situated in the heart of the village of Blackwatertown in County Tyrone. It is in the Charlemount Ward of the Armagh Local Government District. The school was opened in 1974 and currently has 165 pupils enrolled in P1 to P7.

3. St Jarlath’s PS has a P1 admission number of 23 pupils and an approved enrolment number (capacity) of 158 pupils.

4. The Department of Education has launched a new ‘Education Works’ advertising campaign. The campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit for more information.

Watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel:

5. View photos from the Department of Education in our collection at

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