Alliance presses Council for action on post primary crisis

The Alliance Party has continued its efforts to ensure all families affected by the current post primary crisis receive a positive outcome.

Councillor Karen Douglas raised the issue as an urgent matter at the recent Ards and North Down Council meeting, where her calls for the Council to write to the Permanent Secretary on the issue received unanimous backing.

The motion followed on-going contact between the Education Department officials, the Permanent Secretary and parents to ensure a pragmatic and practical approach is taken to find lasting solutions.

Councillor Karen Douglas said: “While it was great to hear of the additional places announced yesterday for Bangor Academy and Strangford Integrated College, there are still a number of pupils left without a school placement, or offered places too far away from their homes.

“I’m delighted my motion received cross-party support. This issue has united Councillors, MLAs and others, with one common goal and it has been fantastic to see everyone working to support parents and children impacted by the notification letters from the Education Authority. This has been an extremely stressful time for many.

“I also want to commend the work of Mr Pitts, principal of Bangor Academy, who has proactively convened a public meeting to hear the views of parents and to reassure families that local schools and political representatives where all working hard to find a solution.

“And while that solution for many will have come in the news yesterday of additional places, this does little to address the long-term problems facing our education system. We urgently need to have a formal review of post primary school provision in the Borough to ensure this situation does not reoccur into the future, ensuring the needs of the next generation are met in years to come.”

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