Press Release

Committee received Whitehouse Primary School Petition

Session: 2009/2010

Date: Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Education today received a petition from teachers, parents and pupils of Whitehouse Primary School and Nursery Unit demanding that their school be rebuilt following a fire that destroyed the school last summer.

Approximately 200 children, parents and staff brought the petition to Parliament Buildings today where a delegation which included the School Principal, Mr David McConkey, handed over several boxes of letters to Members of the Committee for Education.

Receiving the petition on behalf of the Committee, Chairperson Mervyn Storey said: “The Committee for Education is supportive of the plight of the pupils, parents and staff of Whitehouse Primary and Nursery school. I hope that by receiving this petition it will help to highlight the unacceptable conditions in which these children are expected to learn and I trust that reconstruction of Whitehouse Primary School and Nursery Unit will commence as soon as possible.

“On behalf of the Committee I shall be presenting this as a Public Petition to the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly at the commencement of Assembly business on 17 May. The Speaker will accept the Petition on behalf of the Assembly and forward it to the Minister of Education. It is then up to the Minister to respond to the Petition.”


Notes to Editors:
  • Whitehouse Primary School and Nursery Unit were destroyed a fire in July 2009.
  • The Minister of Education, Caitríona Ruane, in her press release of 27 July 2009 said – ‘My Department is also working to progress the planned new school as quickly as possible and we would hope construction can start later this year.’
  • In an answer to a recent Assembly Question regarding her press release of 27 July 2009 the Minister explained why the rebuild of Whitehouse has not yet begun.
  • The Minister must inform the Speaker how she intends to respond to the Whitehouse Primary School Petition, whether by letter, by Ministerial Statement or in some other way.
Committee Membership:

Mr. Mervyn Storey (Chairperson)
Mr. David Hilditch (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr. Dominic Bradley
Mrs. Mary Bradley
Mr. Trevor Lunn
Mr. John McCallister
Mr. Basil McCrea
Miss. Michelle McIlveen
Mr. John O’Dowd
Ms. Michelle O’Neill
Mr. Alastair Ross

The Clerk to the Committee is John Simmons
Committee for Education, Rm 242, Parliament Buildings, Ballymiscaw, Stormont Belfast BT4 3XX
Tel: 028 9052 1787
Mob: 07900 053929
Fax: 028 9052 1371

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