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Almost 100 pupils in wait for school place in Northern Ireland

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Overall, almost a third of pupils still waiting to hear which school they will be transferring to had listed an integrated college as their preferred option

Overall, almost a third of pupils still waiting to hear which school they will be transferring to had listed an integrated college as their preferred option

Overall, almost a third of pupils still waiting to hear which school they will be transferring to had listed an integrated college as their preferred option

Almost 100 pupils due to transfer from primary to post primary are still waiting to hear which school they will be attending in September.

Parents of primary school pupils were due to hear which school their child had gained admission to on May 21.

Around a third are pupils who nominated an integrated school as their first choice, fuelling calls for a greater support for integrated education in Northern Ireland.

Of the 97 pupils still awaiting a place in a post primary school, 15 of them had listed Lagan College in south Belfast as their first preference.

That’s despite Lagan College being one of several schools to have benefitted from 234 additional places by the department for the September 2022 intake.

A further seven had named Hazelwood College as their number one choice.

Overall, almost a third of pupils still waiting to hear which school they will be transferring to had listed an integrated college as their preferred option.

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Tina Merron, of the Integrated Education Fund (IEF), said: “These figures only serve to underline the demand for places in integrated schools and the need for urgent work to provide an integrated place for any child that wants one.”

The Education Authority (EA) said it hoped to place pupils in schools as soon as possible.

“At the stage of outcome notification on Saturday May 21, 244 children had not yet been placed,” the EA confirmed

“As of Thursday, June 9, 97 pupils are yet to be placed. Work is ongoing to continue to support the remaining children and their families.”

Upper Bann and east Londonderry are currently the only parliamentary areas where all children have been awarded a place, though elsewhere 16 pupils are still waiting to hear in the south Belfast area and a further 11 in south Antrim.

Integrated post primaries continue to have the most first preference pupils who fail to gain a place in their chosen school.

Lagan College in south Belfast tops the list, with 15 pupils who chose the school as a first preference failing to gain admission to a post primary when parents were initially notified last month. Seven others had hoped to attend Hazelwood College in the north of the city.

Other schools with multiple pupils failing to get their first choice and who are facing a wait over summer to hear where they will be going to include Mount Lourdes in Enniskillen (10), St Joseph’s College, Belfast (5), St Brigid’s, Carnhill, Derry (5), Edmund Rice College, Glengormley (5) and Methodist College, Belfast (4).

Pupils who wished to attend Malone Integrated, Priory Integrated, Strangford College, Ulidia Integrated and Parkgate Integrated are also on the waiting list.

At the start of September last year some 40 pupils had been left without a school to attend as they moved to year 8, though the initial number of unplaced children was higher at 280.


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