Two more small rural primaries set to close
Two more rural primary schools will close their doors at the end of the summer.
The Education Minister has rubber-stamped the closure of Aghavilly Primary School and Keady Primary School, both in Co Armagh.
The schools, with a total enrolment of just 26, have suffered from falling pupil numbers that have left them unviable.
The decision will bring to an end more than 100 years of history at Aghavilly, which is five miles outside Armagh, off the Monaghan Road.
Mr O’Dowd said: “Since opening in 1898 and 1971 respectively, both Aghavilly Primary School and Keady Primary School have provided an excellent education to children from their local communities.
“In recent years, however, both schools have suffered from declining enrolments with only 10 children enrolled for 2011/12 in Aghavilly and only 16 enrolled for 2011/12 in Keady.
“I have therefore decided to close the schools as I am confident that the children’s educational needs can now be best met at alternative schools within the area.”
He added: “I am sure that all those involved, including parents and school staff, will work hard to ensure a smooth transition for the children to their new school and I wish them all the best in the future.’’
Plans to close the schools were first published last September.