Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Fury as George Best's former high school is set to shut its doors

The closure of George Best's old school in east Belfast is expected to be announced today.

The closure of George Best's old school in east Belfast is expected to be announced today.

The decision to shut Lisnasharragh High in 2008 is believed to have been taken by a group of four commissioners, who were brought in to run the cash-strapped South Eastern Education and Library Board.

Lisnasharragh has been one of four schools that are fighting for the their survival.

One of the others, Hilden Integrated Primary school, is believed to have been granted a reprieve.

The fate of Conlig and Groomsport Primaries is unknown.

East Belfast Alliance MLA, Naomi Long, has slammed the loss of Lisnasharragh.

"The school was a very valuable resource for the community," she said.

She accused the commissioners of ignoring the recent consultation on the matter.

"I am very unhappy that this decision has been made in the context of their being no overall strategy for education provision for East Belfast," she said.

Mrs Long said that 45% of pupils at Lisnasharragh have special educational needs, and the same percentage were entitled to free meals - both figures are 50% above the average figure for east Belfast pupils, she added.

Alliance would continue to lobby the Education Minister and the board to try to prevent the closure of the school, she added.

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