Belfast Telegraph

Minster urged to keep Clintyclay Primary School open for another year

By Rebecca Black

The Education Minister has been urged to keep a school earmarked for closure open for another year.

Clintyclay Primary School near Dungannon would have been the first Catholic school to become integrated.

But Sinn Fein Education Minister John O'Dowd turned down a plea from the rural school to allow it to transform into an cross-community school.

Instead he approved a proposal from the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) to close it. Mr O'Dowd said enrolment numbers at the school (33) were simply too low to be sustainable.

Alliance MLA Trevor Lunn called for Clintyclay to be given a year's reprieve to develop its proposal to become integrated.

He was speaking after meeting Clintyclay teachers, parents and children at Stormont.

"I would urge the Education Minister to allow one year for this proposal to be developed as it is clear from soundings in the local area that there would be interest among Protestant parents in using the school if it was established on an integrated basis," he said, adding that he hoped to meet Mr O'Dowd to talk about the matter.

"I am waiting for an opportunity to discuss this issue with the minister and hope that he will be open to considering such a proposal," he said.

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