Five schools in the Upper Bann and Armagh area have been named in a report into the future of education published today.
The new ‘action plan’ published by the Education Authority is looking at schools facing ‘sustainability issues’ and may be in line for closure or amalgamation with other schools.
The EA action plan for the forthcoming academic year, 2017-18, identifies and names around 40 schools across the north where “sustainability is an issue”.
Craigavon Senior High School is named in the report. A key issue is ‘to ensure school places are located as required’. The managing authority is urged to consult on future provision by next March.
Also named in the report is Brownlow Controlled Integrated College. A key issue is ‘to address school provision where sustainability is an issue’. The report urges the managing authority to consult on options for future provision by March 2018.
Both the City of Armagh High School and Markethill High School are also named in the report. The key issue with these schools is ‘to ensure school places are located as required’.
The managing authorities of both schools are urged to consult on options for future provision by March 2018.
In the primary school sector Birches Primary School is named. A key issue is to ensure school places are located as required with the managing authority urged to consult on future provision by next March.
In the Lurgan and Craigavon areas, the report says integrated education should be encouraged and facilitated.
In the Mid Armagh and Banbridge areas, managing authorities are urged to develop options to deal with oversubscription for Catholic maintained education.
And in the Armagh area, authorities were urged to address demand for Irish medium education.
Any decision to close or merge schools would be subject to consultation.
The EA document states: “This Annual Action Plan covers the period April 2017 to March 2018 and identifies those schools for which developments are proposed.
The Annual Action Plan includes schools where sustainability is now an issue but, also, includes some schools that are sustainable as it these schools who may form part of the solution to sustainability issues in other schools or areas.”
It continues: “The Annual Action Plan reflects the position at the date of publication. However, in an evolving education environment, circumstances may arise which will necessitate the Education Authority and/or education partners having to progress actions/proposals in advance of publication of the plans.”