Belfast Telegraph

Angry parents to stage another protest against merger

By Adrian Rutherford

Parents from Fane Street Primary School are to stage a protest next week over proposals to merge it with two others.

There is mounting anger over the plans to revamp schools in south Belfast.

The Education Authority is looking at amalgamating Fane Street with Blythefield in Sandy Row and Donegall Road primary.

However, there is growing opposition to the proposals. Last month parents from Donegall Road primary blocked a road in south Belfast twice in as many weeks in protest.

A fresh protest by parents from Fane Street is planned for next Friday.

Elaine Davison, whose family attend the school, said there was no excuse for closing it. "There is a lot of anger over what is happening," she said.

"I've had five children come through the school, and my granddaughter starts primary seven next year.

"We are very happy with the school as it is."

Another parent said: "I've had two children here and I've no desire for any merger.

"It causes too much disruption moving kids from school to school.

"My wee boy said he wants to stay. He's very happy there."

Fane Street currently has 239 pupils. Its past pupils include former Linfield footballers Trevor Anderson and Lindsay McKeown, Northern Ireland international and Chelsea striker Tommy Priestley, and legendary singer Ruby Murray.

Its academic alumni include former Royal Belfast Academical Institution headmaster TJ Garrett; Royal School, Armagh headmaster James Brennan; Thomas Wilfred Mulryne, a former principal of Methodist College, Belfast, and the Royal School, Armagh.

Plans to merge the three schools have been in the pipeline for around 15 years.

Education authorities had proposed one new-build near Belfast City Hospital, however, this is no longer a likely option.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph