Changes to schools in Dickson Plan would need Development Proposal: McIlveen

Changes to schools in Dickson Plan would need Development Proposal: McIlveen

Lurgan Junior High School

Michael Scott


Michael Scott


The Education Minister has confirmed that the extension of provision at Lurgan Junior High School to accommodate students up to the age of 16 or 18 would need a revision of the Dickson Plan.

Expanding the school, which currently educates children from Years 8-10, has been suggested as a 'Lurgan solution' to the Education Authority's proposal to close the Lurgan campus of the town's Craigavon Senior High School campus.

From September 2022, the EA is proposing that the school is in Portadown alone.

Former DUP Education Minister, Peter Weir, asked the current Minister, Michelle McIlveen, whether an extension of provision at a school in the Craigavon area to 11-16 or 11-18 is compatible with the Dickson Plan.

He also asked if such a proposal would require a revision to the Dickson Plan.
Responding, the Minster said, “Under the Dickson Plan model, pupils transfer at age 11 to junior high schools and at the end of Key Stage (KS) 3, age 14, they normally transfer to complete KS4 at grammar schools or senior high schools.

“The former Ministry of Education’s approval to the Dickson Plan on 15 February 1967 was for a two tier system of secondary education that would involve:-

the continuance of Portadown and Lurgan Colleges as grammar schools, with recruitment to the secondary departments at 14+;

the transformation of the four secondary (intermediate) schools concerned into non-selective schools providing a three year course; and

the establishment of two technical high schools recruiting at 14+ and conducted in association with the technical colleges.

“An 11-16 or 11-18 school is not currently a feature of the Dickson Plan.

“Any significant change to the schools in the Dickson Plan would require the publication of a Development Proposal (DP).”

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