Published Thursday, 06 September 2012
A deliberate fire destroyed a special needs school in Omagh (© UTV)
In the wake of the blaze at Arvalee School, temporary accommodation will be provided in the Resource Centre at Knockavoe School in Strabane for nursery and primary school children from Tuesday.
Post-primary age pupils will resume their education at temporary accommodation at St Eugene's High School, Castlederg from Tuesday 18 September, as well as a significant number who will resume studies at South West College.
Arrangements will be be put in place to enable both schools to be utilised to meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs.
Western Education and Library Board (WELB) said these measures are 'emergency placements' pending the reconstruction of temporary accommodation at the Arvalee School.
They said they are working closely with the Department of Education (DE) to progress the replacement of damaged accommodation at Arvalee, which they anticipate will be available from January 2013.
The board said that "ultimately, a new school is required" and that the Education Minister John O'Dowd has reinforced his commitment to support progression of a new build.
In the meantime, work to clear debris from the school site is underway.
The fire at Arvalee School and Resource Centre happened on Friday 31 August, destroying most of the building just days before pupils were due to begin the new school year.
Along with forensic scientists, a detailed examination was carried out but the cause of the blaze has yet to be established.
Police initially believed the fire was started deliberately.
Principal Jonathan Gray, the Board of Governors and the WELB said they are grateful to parents, as well as the children and young people in Arvalee School for the tolerance that they have demonstrated at this difficult time.