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Second associate principal for crisis-hit De La Salle College in Belfast

By Rebecca Black

Published 26/04/2016

Education Minister John O'Dowd
Education Minister John O'Dowd

Concerned parents at the troubled De La Salle College have been informed that a second associate principal, John Wilkinson - former principal of Dromore High School - has now been appointed.

He will work along with Imelda Jordan and to provide cover while she is on a period of leave.

Weekend reports have also confirmed the absence of the principal Claire White

The parents have announced a temporary halt to their protests, but they warned they were keeping a close eye on the situation.

They have been protesting outside the school for a number of months over concerns of a catastrophic breakdown in relations between staff and senior management.

Last week the parents won a minor victory when Education Minister John O'Dowd granted their wish for an independent review of the situation at the school.

The minister was previously reluctant to order the probe, but changed his mind last week and explained this was because of new information he had received.

The investigation will look at staff relationships, the role of senior leadership, governance of the school and the impact of the ongoing disputes at the school on pupils. It is due to report back in the summer.

The parents warned that this would only be a temporary measure and that they planned to monitor the situation.

"We will be watching very closely all that is going on and will undoubtedly respond promptly to any disruption to our children's education in the school," they said.

"We welcome any parent to contact us should they have any concerns."

The concerned parents' committee said they would continue to hold regular meetings as they wait for the outcome of the investigation.

"We will continue to meet with those in authority," they added. "We hope that these next few weeks will be a calm time for all those who are preparing to sit exams.

The Irish National Teachers' Organisation has said it will "carefully study" the minister's announcement before deciding on engagement with the inquiry.

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