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Ideologically-driven grammar school closures wrong

In light of your recent articles about the money likely to be wasted to little effect in so-called shared education projects, I write to express my concern in relation to the recent announcement by Education Minister John O'Dowd to close two non-denominational grammar schools in Enniskillen - which welcome pupils from all backgrounds - in the face of strong local opposition from across Fermanagh.

It is unfortunate that the rights of parents and local people are being trampled on by a minister determined to push a particular ideological agenda rather than such schools being viewed as models for integration.

I am also concerned that if John O'Dowd succeeds in forcibly reducing the number of grammar schools in one area, he will repeat the process in other areas.

It was my understanding that current political arrangements offer the possibility of preventing ministers from imposing ideologically-driven decisions upon those with an entirely different perspective. This being the case, one wonders what action politicians are taking to ensure that the wishes of the community in Enniskillen and the surrounding area is respected.

MARK PATTERSON

Belfast

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