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Child with special needs seeks injunction to stop primary school being shut down

By Rebecca Black

Published 23/07/2015

Education Minister John O’Dowd
Education Minister John O’Dowd

A child with special educational needs is seeking an injunction to prevent a school being closed.

The parents of the child at Avoniel Primary School in east Belfast have resorted to legal action after their protests against closure were not successful. It is set to close on August 31, but a judge will decide within weeks whether the child should be allowed to seek a judicial review of Education Minister John O'Dowd's decision.

Mr O'Dowd announced in May that he had approved the closure of Avoniel Primary, and also to increase admissions and enrolment at nearby Elmgrove Primary School.

At the time, Mr O'Dowd said the proposals were the first phase in plans to reshape controlled primary provision in east Belfast. But parents of pupils at Avoniel reacted with anger to the decision, claiming they had been left with little time to find a new school by September.

They claim the minister's decision should be overturned because a consultation in 2014 carried out by the Belfast Education and Library Board was not properly nor fairly conducted. An injunction is also being sought to prevent the school from being closed before the legal action ends.

Belfast Telegraph

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