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Amalgamated Newtownbreda and Knockbreda schools to get state-of-the-art new building

By Claire Cromie

The amalgamated Newtownbreda and Knockbreda high schools will get a state-of-the-art new building, the Education Minister has said.

John O’Dowd made the announcement following the conclusion of a Judicial Review brought by representatives of Newtownbreda High School.

The merger was announced in January after viability assessments were carried out.

Falling enrolment numbers formed part of the basis for concluding a change was required.

The parents of pupils at Newtownbreda High went to court in an attempt to have the plans quashed, claiming their children's education will suffer.

But last week Mr Justice Treacy dismissed the case.

Mr O'Dowd said on Thursday: “I am pleased to be able to include a new build for the combined Newtownbreda/Knockbreda High Schools which will provide state-of-the-art educational facilities for the young people of the area for many years to come.”

The amalgamation was approved to take place on September 1 this year or as soon as possible thereafter - but following discussions with local representatives the SEELB and the Department of Education have agreed to delay it for a year, until the 2015 enrollment.

South Belfast DUP MLA Jimmy Spratt welcomed the news and said the delay would give the new principal time to take charge.


Further reading:

Parents lose legal battle to halt two schools merging

Pupils will suffer in Newtownbreda-Knockbreda High schools merger, High Court hears

School should stay open after its successful results, says Nesbitt

School should stay open after its successful results, says Nesbitt 

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