| 1.7°C Belfast

28 Catholic schools to disappear in major education review


St Peter's High School in Derry which the Commission on Catholic Education has confirmed will close

St Peter's High School in Derry which the Commission on Catholic Education has confirmed will close

St Peter's High School in Derry which the Commission on Catholic Education has confirmed will close

Almost 30 schools are set to disappear in a radical shake-up of Catholic post-primary education.

In a report published yesterday, the Northern Ireland Commission for Catholic Education (NICCE) provided detailed recommendations for the future of schools in the sector.

Every single Catholic post-primary school has been included in the review, which could see five closures and a further 23 schools disappear through mergers and amalgamations.

Crippling budget cuts and falling pupil numbers prompted the review, which began in 2010.

A comprehensive list of how the recommendations will affect schools in your area is below:


Ballymoney, Coleraine, Portstewart

Dominican College Portstewart, Loreto College Coleraine, Our Lady of Lourdes High School Ballymoney, St Joseph’s College Coleraine will be reduced to two schools, one in Coleraine and one in Portstewart. Propsals to keep a secondary school in Ballymoney will be monitored.

Co Antrim

Cross and Passion College, Ballycastle and St Killians’ College, Carnlough will remain unchanged, while St Benedict’s College Randalstown, St Louis Grammar Ballymena and St Patrick’s College Ballymena will form a partnership leading to one school but with provision in each town.

Co Down

St Malachy’s High School Castlewellan, remains unchanged.

St Columban’s College Kilkeel and St Louis Grammar Kilkeel will merge into one school.

De La Salle High School Downpatrick (boys), St Mary’s High School Downpatrick (girls), and St Patrick’s Grammar Downpatrick will form a partnership, while Assumption Grammar, Ballynahinch (girls) and St Colman’s High School Ballynahinch, will collaborate.

St Colmcille’s High School Crossgar will be “monitored” and St Columba’s College Portaferry, “reviewed”.

Greater Belfast area

St Gemma’s High School (girls) to close.

Dominican College (girls), Edmund Rice College, Glengormley (boys), Little Flower Girls School (girls), Our Lady of Mercy (girls), St Malachy’s College (boys), St Patrick’s College (boys) to become just four schools, with at least two co-educational.

Christian Brothers School (boys) and St Mary’s Christian Brothers Grammar (boys) will become one school.

St Dominic’s Grammar (girls) and St Rose’s Dominican College (girls) will form a campus but remain separate schools.

The partnership between De La Salle College (boys) and St Genevieve’s High School (girls) will be extended to include St Colm’s High School.

A collaborative partnership to be explored between Rathmore Grammar and St Patrick’s Academy Lisburn.

Corpus Christi College (boys) is to be kept under review.

St Louise’s Comprehensive College (girls) could become co-educational.

A busness case will look into the need for a new co-educational school to serve the Glenavy, Crumlin and Lisburn areas.

Aquinas Grammar and St Joseph’s College will form one campus, with enhanced curricular collaboration with Our Lady and St Patrick’s College to be exlpored.

A business case to support the continued development of St Columbanus College, Bangor, as a viable and sustainable school will be completed by June.


Greater Newry and district

St Mark’s High School, Warrenpoint and St. Patrick’s College, Banbridge will remain unchanged.

Abbey Grammar School, Newry (boys), Our Lady’s Grammar School, Newry (girls), St Colman’s College, Newry (boys) St Joseph’s High School, Newry (boys) St Mary’s High School, Newry (girls) and Sacred Heart Grammar School, Newry (girls) will be subject to an “intense review” over the next two years.

Lurgan and Lismore

Lismore Comprehensive School, Craigavon remains unchanged.

St Mary’s High School, Lurgan (girls), St Michael’s Grammar School, Lurgan and St Paul’s Junior High School, Lurgan (boys) will merge, to be based at the current St Michael’s site.



St Ciaran’s College, Ballygawley will continue.

Greater Armagh city and district

Drumcree College, Portadown to close.

St Patrick’s High School, Keady to remain unchanged.

St Brigid’s High School, Armagh (boys), St Catherine’s College, Armagh (girls) and St Patrick’s Grammar School, Armagh (boys) to become two single-sex schools, with the possibility of co-educational schooling to be introduced in the future.

Greater Dungannon area

Holy Trinity College, Cookstown remains unchanged.

St Joseph’s College, Coalisland and St Joseph’s Grammar School, Donaghmore also continue but could later form a partnership.

St Patrick’s Academy Grammar School, Dungannon and St Patrick’s College, Dungannon will develop a shared campus while retaining the identity and status of each.


St Mary’s Grammar School and St Pius X College to form a single school using both sites.

South Armagh

Both St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook and St Joseph’s High School, Crossmaglen will remain largley unchanged, although st Joseph’s will get a new building.



St Mary’s High School, Brollagh to close.

St Aidan’s High School, Derrylin, St Comhghall’s College, Lisnaskea and St Eugene’s College, Rosslea will amalgamate, with possible provision on more than one site.

Mount Lourdes Grammar School, Enniskillen (girls), St Fanchea’s College, Enniskillen (girls), St Joseph’s College, Enniskillen (boys) and St Michael’s College, Enniskillen (boys) will become two single-sex schools. This may become three in the future.

St Mary’s College, Irvinestown will be subject to a feasibility study.


Derry city

St Peter’s High School (boys) to close.

A vision for a partnership of the remaining schools - Immaculate Conception College, Lumen Christi College, St Brigid’s College, St Cecilia’s College (girls), St Columb’s College (boys), St Joseph’s Boys School (boys), St Mary’s College (girls) and Thornhill College (girls) - will be developed.

North Derry

A formal collaboration of two schools, one in Limavady and another at a site still to be determined will replace St Mary’s High School, Limavady

St Patrick’s College, Dungiven and St Patrick’s and St. Brigid’s College, Claudy.

South Derry

St Paul’s College, Kilrea and St Mary’s College, Clady will merge to become one school.

St Colm’s High School, Draperstown and St Patrick’s College, Maghera remain unchanged.

West Tyrone

St. Eugene’s High School Castlederg to close.

Christian Brothers’ Grammar School Omagh (boys), Dean Maguirc College Carrickmore, Loreto Grammar School Omagh (girls), Holy Cross College Strabane, Sacred Heart College Omagh and St. John’s Business and Enterprise College Dromore will be subject to future planning, which will place post-primary school provision in Omagh, Strabane and Carrickmore.

Any alternative models will take into account the proposal for an Educational Campus in Lisanelly.

Belfast Telegraph