MINISTER STAYS THE AXE ON BELFAST SCHOOLS

Education Minister John O'Dowd

Education Minister John O’Dowd

EDUCATION Minister John O’Dowd has given reprieve to a number of schools in the Greater Belfast area which were facing the axe.

In east Belfast, Dundonald High School is now to remain open while Orangefield High School shut.

And in a separate development, Newtownbreda and Knockbreda High Schools are to amalgamate from this September because of falling numbers.

The schools will eventually have a new purpose built school but until then they will operate on separate sites.

However, the minister and his departmental officials have rejected a proposal to create extra spaces at Ashfield Boys and Ashfield Girls schools.

Ashfield Boys wanted to increase its numbers to 850 from 666 while Ashfield Girls want to increase its numbers from 708  to 900.

Priory College in Holywood will be allowed to expand from 500 pupils to 600 pupils.

Orangefield High School will close its doors in August as it has only 80 pupils.

 

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