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Battle will continue to halt Malvern school closure

I feel compelled to write to you about the Belfast Education and Library Board's decision to close Malvern Primary School in the Lower Shankill after almost 87 years of service to our local community.

Government figures show that the Lower Shankill has remained among the worst 10 (of 583) areas of deprivation for more than 15 years across all indicators - yet the "commitment" of this arm of government to our children's future is simply to remove the heart of our community: our school.

BELB stepped outside their own guidelines by announcing the proposed closure of this facility before announcing a consultation on the proposals. This could have led to a mass exodus of children from this school (which, thankfully, has not happened).

Other options for the future put to BELB by our community have been ignored for no apparent reason. We thank politicians from all parties who voted against this proposal.

The fight to save Malvern Primary School goes on and we fully intend to take our campaign to the Education Minister at Stormont.

We hope that he will realise that to a community emerging from conflict, the future education of our young is pivotal in ensuring the mistakes of the past are consigned to history.

IAN McLAUGHLIN

Project manager, Lower Shankill Community Association

Belfast Telegraph

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