September 20 Newsfeed

MGMPR leading media campaign for Markethill High School

By Eleanor McGillie

SCHOOLS across Northern Ireland are currently waiting to hear their fate after Education Minister John O’Dowd ordered the education and library boards to host consultation processes on the future of post primary education in schools across the province.

Consultation has now ended into the Post Primary Area Plans which was ordered by the Education Minister John O’Dowd in June which affects schools across Northern Ireland, including Markethill High School.

After an economic appraisal four options for Markethill High School were laid down and the public given the opportunity to respond to the consultation. The consultation process was extended until October 26, so schools and the general public got sufficient time to read and reflect on the proposals before responding. The four short listed options for Markethill High School are;

  • Amalgamate the City of Armagh and Markethill High Schools. Provide new replacement buildings on the Markethill High School site for an estimated 700 pupils. Refurbish and extend the Royal School buildings for an LTE of 700 pupils.
  • Amalgamate the City of Armagh High School and the Royal School. Refurbish and extend the existing Royal School buildings for an LTE of 850 pupils. Provide new replacement buildings on the Markethill High School site for an LTE of 550 pupils.
  • Amalgamate the City of Armagh and Markethill High Schools. Provide new replacement buildings, co-located with the Royal School, for an LTE of 700 pupils. Refurbish and extend the existing Royal School buildings for an LTE of 700 pupils.
  • Amalgamate all three schools and provide a new 11-19 all ability school on the Royal School site for an LTE of 1,400 pupils.

McGillie Media & PR have been leading a media campaign for Markethill High School who have been campaigning for a new build school on its current site and sixth form provision.

The Governors of the school collected petitions from businesses, community groups, congregations, traders and individuals in the surrounding areas and the 4,485 signatures collected have now been handed to the Southern Education and Library Board.

As well as public support, the school has received support from the UFU and their 1,700 members, the traders have fully supported the campaign and past and present pupils joined.

Director of McGillie Media & PR, Eleanor McGillie, said: “We devised a social media strategy for the school and a live Twitter campaign was hosted during a public meeting which attracted over 500 people from the community.

“We received great feedback from pupils past and present. To get 4,485 signatures is incredible. To have the UFU and their 1,700 members in the area to support the campaign has been brilliant. To get all of the traders in Markethill to support us has been heart warming. To get over 500 people turn up at a public meeting was fantastic.

“I would like to thank the supporting press. The Ulster Gazette, the Portadown Times and the Newry Reporter have been crucial in highlighting the school’s campaign.”

If your school is planning on running a media campaign or would indeed like to raise your school’s profile, contact Eleanor McGillie at McGillie Media & PR on 3756 9863 or email eleanor@mgmpr.co.uk

Public Relations Northern Ireland

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