General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

Sign-up to E-News

Integrated college to shut after five years


12/06/2008 :: Northern Ireland :: The Irish News

Integrated education in Northern Ireland suffered a blow yesterday when the governors of a school opened less than five years ago said it must close next year because of a lack of pupils.

Armagh Integrated College will be the first government funded integrated secondary level school to close.

The governors said they had taken the "difficult but responsible decision" to proceed with the closure of the school from August 31 2009.

Pat Carville, chairwoman of the board of governors, said: "Despite exploring a range of other options the governors felt that the fall in pupil intake, combined with developments in education policy meant that it would be unlikely that the collage could achieve long-term viability."

When the school was set up in 2004 it was decreed it needed to enrol a minimum of 50 pupils a year over three years.

It has a maximum enrolment of 400 but has only 138 pupils this year, down from the 153 of last year.

Dominic Clarke, acting principal, said: "The focus of the school now is on supporting our future year 12 students through their GCSEs in May 2009 curriculum."

Education minister Caitriona Ruane has the final say on school closures but she is unlikely to go against the decision of the governors.



© Copyright 2006 i3 Digital