The Collegiate Action Group remains ‘committed’ and ‘determined’ to fight the closure of their school, despite the Western Board’s approval for amalgamation with Portora.
A decision was made three weeks ago by the Western Board (WELB) backing proposals for a new voluntary co-educated grammar school between Enniskillen Collegiate Grammar School and Portora Royal School.
The Collegiate has always been fiercely opposed to the amalgamation and the action group, set up originally last year is garnering the support of the local community as a spokesman from the group explained.
“We have been overwhelmed by the support of the community at large as we have continued to gain names for our petition and can report that thousands of signatures have been collected so far. “The confidence within the group has never been higher as the message we are receiving continually as we go ‘door to door’ is one of amazement that such an excellent school is even being considered for closure.
“There also appears to be significant numbers of people who are unaware of what the proposal will mean for Enniskillen if it goes ahead and are understandably concerned about the ramifications of split sites, traffic congestion and the overall future of education in Fermanagh.
“In general, we are in no doubt that the community is behind us and we are on the correct side of the argument. In order to prove to the doubters that this is the case, we are looking forward to welcoming our supporters to the public meeting at the school this Friday, 30th May at 7.30 pm.”
As part of fundraising activities the group has organised a ‘back to school bop’ on Friday June 20th at 8pm to attract further support to the cause and enjoy some light hearted relief from the campaign.
“This will be a fun evening where we will have a band/disco playing the music from the time when us parents were at school, much to the embarrassment of the pupils possibly.”
“We have also been astounded by the generosity of those who have provided the many prizes for the raffle which we will run at this event. Fancy dress (old school uniforms) is optional and tickets are available from the school at £10 each.
“The sales of the car stickers and wrist bands has been unbelievable and we have struggled to meet the overwhelming demand but there are still some available, again from the school. Finally, at this stage, a number of the fitter members of the Action Group are being sponsored to take part in the Enniskillen 10K on 14th June. The community support for all of our endeavours has been genuinely inspiring and for that we are truly grateful.”
The group remain confident that the school will be saved and hope that the three schools involved in the process (Portora, Collegiate and Devenish College) will benefit from individual improvements. In the coming weeks the Action Group will continue to lobby the Education Minister John O’Dowd to try and make him consider a ‘better alternative’ than the current proposal.
“We believe that this is a long way from being over and we will continue to fight this proposal to the end.”
There is a public meeting tonight (Friday) to ‘Save the Collegiate being held at 7.30pm in the Assembly Hall of the school and all opposed to the closure of Enniskillen Collegiate are asked to attend.
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