Belfast Telegraph

Head on leave from troubled Belfast school for two years to return to post

By Gareth Cross

The principal of a Northern Ireland school is to return to her job after nearly two years away.

Claire White will return to De La Salle College in west Belfast after being on leave since May 2016.

In April 2016 then Education Minister John O'Dowd ordered an independent panel to review the situation at the Catholic secondary.

Parents expressed concerns over their children's education following a dispute among staff.

A large number of the staff staged protests in the school and called in sick over the handling of a disciplinary matter.

Marian O'Neill is currently acting principal at De La Salle.

In a letter posted on the school's website, chair of the board of governors Monica Culbert confirmed that Mrs White was returning to her role.

It also said that Mrs White had the governors' full support.

"The board of governors have deliberated on the arrangements for the long-term leadership of the college moving forward and have been in discussions with our substantive principal Mrs Claire White," the letter reads.

"In light of the significant improvements that have taken place within the college, the board of governors are in agreement that it is now the right time for Mrs White to return to her post as principal at De La Salle College. In discussion with Mrs White we have agreed that she will return to her post at the end of this academic year.

"Mrs White has the full support of the board of governors in returning to her post as principal of our college.

"And we are confident in her ability to lead the staff as we continue our journey of improvement."

In a statement, Mrs White said she was pleased the governors had decided on her return and was looking forward to working with the school community again.

Belfast Telegraph

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