Crumlin Integrated College set on Future Growth

AFTER a challenging few years, Crumlin Integrated College has today, Wednesday 28th February, launched its Decade of Growth, which outlines its vision from now until 2028.

With the help of Randox Founder, Dr Peter FitzGerald, and Managing Director of Belfast International Airport, Mr Graham Keddie, the Decade of Growth plan was unveiled at a special assembly at the school in which business leaders, political representatives, local bodies and pupils attended.

The ambitious plan includes a new school, provision for learning for Over 16s, and the school transforming into a central hub for youth within the Crumlin area.

Mrs Lynda McGarry, Principal (acting), Crumlin Integrated College, explains: “It’s been well documented that Crumlin Integrated College has experienced a challenging time. From formal intervention in 2010 to the threat of closure, we have now turned the school around, and started to rebuild Crumlin Integrated College into an excellent, sustainable school that we’re all extremely proud of.

“For the first time in many years, we have two Year 8 classes, we experienced our highest-ever intake and 86% of pupils achieved five or more A*-C grades in their GCSEs.  Therefore, we felt that the time was right to focus on our future, and we are thrilled to launch our Decade of Growth plan, which sets in stone our plans for the next ten years.”

The Crumlin Integrated College Decade of Growth plan* focuses on ten key areas that are central to the school’s development, including ‘A Building for Growth’, ‘One Community’, ‘Future proofing Career Pathways’ and ‘Beyond the School Day’.

 “Our Principal (acting), the excellent team of teaching staff and our Governors have taken a holistic view on our vision for the school. In addition to further improving our results and increasing our pupil numbers by 30% year-on-year over the next five years, we have ambitious plans for the school’s involvement in the local community.

“From extended school premises opening hours, to ensuring our teaching is aligned to solid career pathways for the students, much of the groundwork has already commenced,” adds James Livingstone, Acting Chair of the Board of Governors at Crumlin Integrated College.

In early March, a new state-of-the-art youth unit is being installed at the school, adding to the development of the College campus, and offering a fantastic resource for the young people of Crumlin.

Keynote speaker at the launch, Dr Peter FitzGerald, Founder of Randox adds: “Every business and organisation faces challenging times, but it’s how challenges are faced that shows the true spirit of an organisation. The rebuilding of Crumlin Integrated College demonstrates the resilience of the school, its teachers and its support group, and their approach to setting a future vision for the school is to be commended.

“As our business is headquartered in Crumlin, we look forward to seeing the school grow, and its Alumni strengthen. Hopefully in years to come, many former pupils of Crumlin Integrated College will be part of the Randox team. I wish Mrs McGarry and her team every success with their Decade of Growth plans.”

Demonstrating their support for the future of Crumlin Integrated College, the launch event was attended by representatives from the Education Authority, NICIE, the Integrated Education Fund, and local political representatives who were instrumental in helping Crumlin Integrated College to remain open.

Commenting on the school’s plan for growth, IEF Chief Executive Tina Merron said:

“Crumlin Integrated College’s vision for success is inspiring and a timely commitment to positive developments which will secure the school’s significant place in its local community. It’s great to see support from local representatives, business leaders and – importantly – parents, as Crumlin IC begins its journey with a solid ten-point plan for growth.  The IEF and the wider integrated education movement wishes the college well and will be encouraging and assisting it along its path to success.”

Mrs McGarry adds: “It’s particularly apt that many of our political representatives are here today as they played an important role in our school’s history. Of note is Danny Kinahan, Deputy former Chair of the Education Committee, who’s support helped us to keep the school open, and former Education Minister John O’Dowd, who ultimately made the decision not to close the school.”

Roisin Marshall, Chief Executive of NICIE, said: “Thanks to the leadership of Mrs McGarry and the dedication of her team, Crumlin Integrated College has really turned a corner and is now an excellent example of an integrated college that’s thriving.

“There’s a huge demand for the provision of integrated education in the Crumlin area, and we are committed to supporting Crumlin Integrated College achieve its vision, deliver excellence to its pupils and continue to grow.”

Mark Baker, Assistant Director of Education (School Improvement), Education Authority concludes: “Crumlin Integrated College has faced a number challenges over the past years.  The EA has supported the school through its journey and is committed to delivering a sustainable model of Integrated Education in Crumlin.”

Crumlin Integrated College, formerly known as Crumlin High School transformed to integrated status in 2007. The School is situated on the Glenavy Road in Crumlin.