Sperrin Integrated College in Magherafelt has had a great start to the new year with the news that it is to increase its enrolment from September.
The Department of Education has approved the school’s development proposal to expand, increasing admissions from 80 to 100. The school will eventually have an approved enrolment of 600 pupils. A request to increase post-16 places was turned down, meaning that Sperrin IC will continue to offer 50 places in each of years 13 and 14.
The college has been heavily oversubscribed for many years and first submitted a proposal for an increase in pupil numbers in 2017. In September 2019, the school was allowed a temporary variation in numbers and enrolled 109 pupils into Year 8, the largest intake since the College’s inception in 2002 and reflecting local demand for post-primary integrated education.
Welcoming the announcement, principal Brigid Heron said
‘We are delighted that the Department has recognised the need for the growth and development of Sperrin Integrated College. The school with its grammar and all-ability pathways can now deliver to even more children our highly-effective, success-focussed, quality education for all children within a family.”
Ms Heron went on to thank staff, parents, governors and the local community for their support and acknowledged the help of the Integrated Education Fund in helping the school to spread the word about the benefits of integrated education and the high-quality education offered by Sperrin IC.
Sperrin IC opened 18 years ago on a 20-acre site on the outskirts of Magherafelt, after a campaign for integrated provision by local parents. In 2002 it had 50 pupils and six teachers.
The expansion announcement from the Department of Education follows a very successful 2019 for Sperrin IC, including the highest-ever rate of achievement at GCSE for its pupils.
The school is looking forward to growth and further success and will now be seeking to increase accommodation and upgrade facilities.
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