Education Minister John O’Dowd has today approved the closure of Clintyclay Primary School.
The Southern Education and Library Board (SELB) published two development proposals relating to Clintyclay Primary School.
One proposal was to change the school’s management to grant-maintained integrated status, which the Minister has turned down, and the other was to close the school, which the Minister has approved.
Commenting on his decisions, Mr O’Dowd said: “Clintyclay Primary School has provided education to children from the local community for generations. However, the enrolment at the school is such that it is not sustainable into the future.
“The evidence clearly demonstrates that the local area offers sufficient alternative provision for all of the children currently attending the school and any others from the area in the future. These other settings are within reasonable distance and will ensure that the children have the opportunity to mix with a wider range of peers, boosting their learning experience.
“The school’s long-term unsustainability also means that transformation to integrated status is not a feasible option. In making this decision I would emphasise that I am not suggesting that there is no demand for integrated provision in the area.
“I am therefore tasking the NI Council for Integrated Education, in conjunction with the SELB and CCMS, with carrying out a strategic review in the area to consider where additional places might be needed and to identify the full range of options for meeting any demand. I will give due consideration to any new development proposals that may arise as a result of this work.”
The Minister added: “I am sure that everyone involved, including parents, the local community and school staff, will work hard to ensure a smooth transition for the children to their new schools and I wish them all the best in the future.
“I would also like to pay tribute to everyone connected with Clintyclay Primary School who over many years have shown their commitment and dedication to the school and its pupils.”
It was on May 19 that the, SELB, on behalf of CCMS, published a development proposal which proposed Clintyclay Primary School should close from August 31, 2015 or as soon as possible thereafter and, on June 9, on behalf of the Board of Governors of Clintyclay Primary School, a further development proposal proposed the acquisition of grant-maintained integrated status for Clintyclay Primary School, with effect from September 1, 2014, or as soon as possible thereafter.