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Parents from South 'lying for school places'

08-08-2007

Parents from South 'lying for school places'

Parents living in the Republic close to the border are lying about their family's address to get their children into over-subscribed schools in Northern Ireland, it was claimed yesterday.

Kathleen Gormley, principal of St Cecilia's College in Londonderry, said many parents whose children had been refused entry were angry because they felt places were being taken by others who no longer lived in the school's catchment area.
This included some families who had moved across the border to new developments.
Ms Gormley said the issue had caused great problems for many parents.
"I see many parents who are very aggrieved that their daughters can't get in because others are lying about their addresses."
She said she thought the problem wasn't just confined to her school, but to all oversubscribed schools in the city.
The head teacher said people within the city may also be falsifying their addresses.
"It's becoming like England with your postcode deciding what school you go to, only in our case it's a parish lottery.
"You can live in one part of a street and be fine, but if you live next door then you are out.
"We had to turn away 70 girls this year and for the first time in 40 years we had to turn away sisters of pupils already here.
"It also used to be if your mother went here you got in."
Ms Gormley said new housing developments across the border close to the city were adding to the problem, but she had sympathy with all the parents affected.

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