Almost 1,700 responses have been submitted as part of a public consultation on the future of St Mary’s High School, Brollagh.
The public consultation which sets out plans to close the school has now closed. The proposal documents details an attempt to discontinue the school “from 31 August 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.”
Almost 1,700 consultation documents were submitted by parents and local people who are objecting the CCMS’ proposal to close the rural school.
The school near Belleek has been subject to a campaign of four closure threats in the past decade with the future of school first coming under threat in 2008. In 2014, a closure attempt was made but was quashed by former Minister for Education, John O’Dowd.
In 2017, another attempt to close the school was made, but was later withdrawn.
The school currently has around 90 students which falls well below the 500 pupils recommended by the Department of Education’s sustainable schools policy. Following the two month long public consultation, the Department of Education will now make a decision on the closure following the closing date.
Speaking to the Herald, local councillor and past student Anthony Feely said he is happy with the response from local people and is ‘optimistic’ about the future of the school.
“There has been almost 1,700 responses sent into the consultation and hopefully they will look favourably on the number of responses which have been submitted. We are optimistic. There were only 11 new pupils who started at the school this year and we need the bigger numbers going in to keep the school open. Anytime the enrolment numbers look good, these rumours about the closures come out. It is frustrating for the children and the staff at the school. I am glad to see so many people putting in for the consultation and hopefully now they will keep the school open.”
Posted: 1:23 pm September 5, 2019