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Rathore School in Newry is one of 17 schools to benefit from funding announced by the Education  Minister Michelle McIlveen has today hailed a £21m investment in the provision of education for special schools.

MLA Liz Kimmins has expressed her delight at the School being included.

Kimmins said “I was delighted to learn that Rathore School in Newry has been included on the list of schools which will receive additional funding.

"As a member of the Board of Governors at Rathore for over 5 years, I have experienced at first hand what a fantastic school it is.

"I know that the Principal, Ms. Currie and staff will use this extra resource to provide an even higher standard of education and opportunity at Rathore School.

"The pupils of Rathore have a special place in the hearts of the people of Newry and any enhancement to their education and school experience will be welcomed not just by the whole school community, but by all of the citizens of Newry, Mourne and Down district."

A total of 17 special schools will benefit from the funding providing 61 additional classes, the recruitment of approximately 60 additional teachers and 145 additional classroom assistants.

The Minister was visiting the Harberton North campus in Fortwilliam one of the schools that will benefit from the investment.

Speaking at the school which has recently opened to pupils after a major refurbishment the Minister said: “I very much appreciate the opportunity to visit Harberton North today which is one of 17 special schools that will benefit from this £21m investment for this school year. 

“I visited the school just a few weeks ago and the refurbishment programme that has taken place here is a shining example of what can be achieved in such a short space of time through the efforts of my Department, the EA, the school leadership and the various contractors.

“Securing appropriate high quality services for children with Special Educational Needs is a key priority for both my Department and the Education Authority.  

Education Authority Chair, Barry Mulholland said: “I am delighted to visit Harberton North today to see the benefits of this investment in our children first hand. This was a hugely ambitious project across 17 schools in an extremely challenging timeframe. I would like to thank the principals, governors and parents at all the schools involved, as well as EA staff and contractors, for working to provide these fantastic facilities for children and young people.”

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