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Education ministry to provide more assistance for Liberty Academy


JIS: The Ministry of Education is to provide additional financial and human resource support to the privately run Liberty Academy at Priory.


This was disclosed by portfolio Minister Ruel Reid following a tour of the facility’s Hope Road location in St Andrew yesterday.


There is currently an arrangement between the institution and the government, where some students with special needs are placed at the school each year, and whose fees are paid by the ministry. The salaries of two special education teachers are also paid by the ministry.


Reid said he is “very impressed” with the work of the Academy, which is one of the country’s “premier inclusive educational institutions…that ably caters for the diverse needs of our students.”


He said this new partnership, which will entail the provision of key personnel and an annual subvention, is aimed at giving the school further support to improve the quality of performance and output.


In the meantime, Executive Director and Founder of the Academy, Suzanne Williams, said she appreciates the visit and the Ministry’s commitment to further assist the school.


She noted that the institution has been working with the Ministry on an ongoing basis since 2007.


Williams further informed that the school has a mix of regularly performing and above average students, and also facilitates students with exceptional needs.


The institution offers an inclusive programme of education, catering to 260 students between three and 18 years of age. The school operates kindergarten, junior, high school, and exceptional needs departments.


A church-affiliated institution, Liberty Academy at Priory commenced operations in 1994. It functions as an outreach ministry of the Swallowfield Chapel.  


Accredited by the Ministry of Education in 2001, the institution is also a registered non-profit organisation which operates under the guidelines of the Jamaica Independent Schools’ Association.


CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Ruel Reid (right), in discussion with Special Education Coordinator, Liberty Academy at Priory ,Toni-Ann Millen (left), as he is taken on a tour of the institution’s  Special Education Department. In the background (at centre) is Executive Director and Founder of the Academy, Suzanne Williams. The Minister visited the school’s Hope Road location in St Andrew on January 31. (Photo: JIS)