General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

Sign-up to E-News

North’s newest bilateral school to open


The north’s newest bilateral school, which caters for children of all abilities under one roof, was due to officially open today.

Holy Cross College in Strabane was formed by the merger of a grammar and two secondaries in the Co Tyrone town.

Bilateral schools, of which there are four in the north, are the only non-grammars that can use academic selection to determine some of their intake – up to a maximum of 35 per cent.

Such schools are considered to be a key model for Caitriona Ruane’s vision for post-primary reform because while they are largely non-selective, they also retain an academic pathway for pupils who choose to follow it.

Holy Cross’s new building represents an investment of more than £29 million.

“Holy Cross College is a bilateral school meeting the learning needs of all children in the area and providing a blueprint for the future of education in Northern Ireland,” principal Sean Bradley said.

“The school is committed to offering students, parents and the local community access to a progressive, flexible and motivating curriculum in a modern and stimulating environment.

“The school places great value on the educational, pastoral and spiritual development of all its students.”

Donal Flanagan, chief executive of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools, said the official opening of the new building marked a milestone in the history of the 1,400 pupil school.

“As a flagship Catholic maintained school, Holy Cross College is a perfect example of our commitment to high quality education provision in a school which can meet the needs of students with a full range of abilities,” he said.


© Copyright 2006 i3 Digital