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Celebration Mass as St John the Baptist College reopens with welcome Key Stage 4 provision

After a successful campaign the Portadown college can now allow pupils to remain on to sit their GCSEs instead of having to transfer to another school

Pictured: L-R - Charlotte Conway (Teacher), Coen McIlkenny (Deputy Head Boy), Aoife McAtarsney (Head Girl), Noella Murray (Principal), Rian Hughes (Head Boy), Niamh McCann (Deputy Head Girl), Brenda Leathem (Senior Teacher).

A Mass of thanksgiving and celebration has been held in St John the Baptist’s Chapel to mark the re-designation of St John the Baptist’s College in Portadown as a Key Stage 4 model school.

The college initially opened its doors as a new school in September 2017 and has grown very quickly in the intervening four years.

Given that the school is currently oversubscribed and following a very successful ETI inspection, a decision was taken to initiate a new case for change and a development proposal process for the extension of the school.

SJBC Senior Leadership Team, Canon Michael Toner (Trustee to the Board of Governors), Noella Murray (Principal), Dean Kevin Donaghy (CCMS Council).

The related stakeholder consultation generated very positive feedback and a subsequent decision was taken to approve the development proposal.

This decision was very much welcomed by all as it now enables pupils to remain on to undertake their GCSE studies in St John the Baptist’s College rather than having to transfer across to another school.

L-R – Karen McConville (EA), Martina Coogan (EA), Canon Toner, Noella Murray (Principal), Dolores  Kelly (SDLP), Julie Flaherty (UUP). Back Row – Eamon McNeil (SDLP Councillor), Tony Scullion (CCMS Advisor to SJBC), Noel Bullock (Former Principal), Geraldine Lawless (Governor), Geraldine McCourt (CCMS).

The entire school community are delighted that local children will now be able to access their post primary education within the Drumcree parish.

Representatives from a wide range of partners to the college were in attendance at the Mass of celebration including personnel from local community groups, CCEA/EA/DE staff and local politicians who have played an active role in supporting the growth of the new college.

The Principal, Mrs Noella Murray expressed her gratitude to all of the valuable partners who work in tandem with the college to enable all young people to access a high quality education.

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