The battle to save the Dickson Plan has received the high-profile support of First Minister Peter Robinson.
The DUP leader met supporters of the Dickson Plan at Stormont and said that any move by the Southern Education and Library Board to “go against the wishes of the community” over the future of education here could be challenged by the Northern Ireland Executive.
Simon Harper, headmaster of Portadown College. former Lurgan College principal Dennis Johnston and current Lurgan College representative Alan Reavie were among those attending the meeting.
DUP MP David Simpson, Alderman Sydney Anderson and fellow MLA Stephen Moutray were also present.
Mr Robinson said, “My DUP colleagues in Craigavon and Tandragee have conducted an excellent campaign for the protection of the Dickson Plan. I was delighted to meet with representatives of the Colleges in Lurgan and Portadown. Indeed, I gave an undertaking to do all in my power to halt those who want to decimate this system.
“ Any decision to go against the community wishes would clearly be controversial therefore would be open to challenge at the Executive.
“The Dickson Plan form of education has operated in this area for over 40 years. Its unique two-tier system is cherished by those who have passed through the schools and has widespread community support.
“The DUP is united in its support of this localised system and will continue to campaign against those who attempt to decimate and destroy the Dickson Plan.”
A petition organised by the DUP was signed by several thousand people.
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