DESPITE an announcement that St Mary’s High School, Brollagh, is to close in August, local people haven’t given up the fight to keep it open.
The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) has announced it is to close St Mary’s High School, Brollagh, which has a current enrolment of 84. St Mary’s High School is facing it’s a third proposal in nine years to close the school and if accepted the school will close by August 31st 2018, or as soon as possible thereafter.
The Parents Council, have formed an Action Group to represent the pupils and parents through this process. Speaking to the Herald, the Action Group said,“As parents we are frustrated and very angry.
“We have 23 year eight students, all of whom are very excited at starting their new secondary school, only to be told three weeks into their new school term that their school may close.
We also have children about to choose GCSEs with the uncertainty of subject choices or where they are going to study. We have fund raised £20,000 over the past two years, to make up for the lack of funding that the school has received. According to our research the school has not received any capital investment in over 10 years.”
The closure of the school would mean that students would have to travel to Enniskillen for education – resulting in a ten hour day, spending hours on a school bus.
“The majority of the children will be forced to travel up to four hours, a day. They will further be denied the opportunity of attending after school activities or clubs.
”We are led to believe that this additional transport will cost over £100k per year. This proposal means that the majority of children will have almost a 10 hour day, two more hours than the average adult and that is before they start homework!
“It is immoral for the CCMS to suggest that a child should be forced to spend up to 20 hours a week on a bus.”
The Action Group also believes that St Mary’s High School, ‘is a success story’ and urges the CCMS to engage and invest in the School.
“Despite years of uncertainty, no capital investment, criticism and negativity from the CCMS publicly doubting its credibility and educational capability, the pupils continue to outperform their secondary school counterparts at GCSE. The CCMS and the Education Authority should build on that success.”