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Drumsallen PS on ‘close or merge’ danger list

Thursday, 4 May 2017

A COUNTY Armagh primary school is one of 40 across Northern Ireland which could merge or close as part of a major education plan.

Drumsallen Primary, on the Dernasigh Road, Armagh, is amongst the facilities identified where "sustainability is an issue".

As a result, education chiefs have been forced to consider options and will be opening consultations on possible mergers or, in some cases, closures. The Education Authority plan, called 'Providing Pathways', which was published on Friday, sets out priorities and actions for schools over the next three years.

According to the Education Authority's first regional plan, more than 220 schools are running at budget deficits. The detailed report reveals 36 per cent of primary schools in Northern Ireland have fewer than 106 pupils.

Ulster Unionist Councillor Sam Nicholson - who has requested an urgent meeting with the Education Authority to clarify the situation - said "action is needed to prevent the potential closure of Drumsallen Primary School".

“Drumsallen has been at the heart of its community and the surrounding area for a very long time, so the news that it is to potentially close will be devastating to the whole community," he said.

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