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Schools in the spotlight

Thursday, 19 April 2018

THREE local schools have been told to consider options for addressing 'sustainability issues'.
The order came via the Education Authority's annual action published last week.
Under the section dedicated to Causeway Coast and Glens area the report states: "School managing authorities to develop options for future provision at Coleraine College, Dunluce (High School) and North Coast (Integrated College) by March 2019.
EA Director of Education John Collings points said many of Northern Ireland's schools are "too small to adequately provide pupils with access to a broad and balanced curriculum, extensive extracurricular activities and high-quality pastoral care." 
Locally, the primary sector has already reduced the number of empty desks by 1101.
Nevertheless, Ballyhacket Primary has been included on a list of schools with issues of sustainability.
No-one from the school was available to respond to the Chronicle's enquiries on its future
Meanwhile, in the post-primary sector the number of free places has risen by 197, despite the merger of grammar schools and imminent closure of St Joseph's College.
Principals from the three secondary schools named in the report have sent letters of reassurance to parents.
 The heads affirm their commitment to providing the highest standards education but acknowledge the non-selective sector's need to plan for the future.
Dunluce High School's Philip Smyth says "I write to assure you that although Dunluce School has a part to play in this review, there is no talk of closure, merger or amalgamation at this point in time.
He went on to tell the Chronicle: "This is about making sure we have the right educational outcome in the right neutral venue.
“Educating our children is much more important that any individual institution.
“It's about three equal schools coming together to see what's right for children in this area.
“Reading anything more into it is wrong."

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