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Northern Ireland school places crisis: Protest planned outside Department of Education

By Rebecca Black

Angry parents whose children have not yet secured a post primary school place are set to stage a protest outside the Department of Education tomorrow morning.

They are set to stand outside Rathgael House to make their presence felt while local MLAs meet with department officials at 10am over the ongoing school places crisis.

Around 300 P7 children were left without a confirmed place at a post primary school last Friday when the admissions process concluded. A total of 22,371 (98.62%) children were placed at a school, but 1.38% were not placed.

The next stage of the admissions process is currently under way and the Education Authority has published a full list of schools across Northern Ireland at which places still remain.

Bangor mum Lynsey Johnston's son Cameron did not get a place at any of his choices of Strangford College, Priory College or St Columbanus' College.

He has been offered a place at St Columba's in Portaferry - 22 miles away.

"It's too far to expect an 11-year-old to make their way there every morning," she said.

"We need this resolved before the end of term, so we will be standing outside Rathgael House. We want the department to know how seriously we take our children's education."

Belfast Telegraph

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