Naomi Long MLA said: “It is disgraceful that the Commissioners have decided to close Lisnasharragh High School. I am very disappointment that consultation on the closure was not taken into account by the Commissioners when they made this decision.
“The total tack of information provided on this matter was appalling. This decision will have an extremely detrimental impact on the Lisnasharragh area.
“I am very unhappy that this decision has been made in the context of their being no overall strategy for education provision for East Belfast. The SEELB and Belfast Education and Library Board have absolutely no strategy at all in place for East Belfast.
“Alliance will continue to lobby the Education Minister and the board to try to prevent the closure of the school.”
Alliance Party Councillor for the Lisnasharragh area, Michael Long said: “The SEELB Commissioners have let local people down twice in the past few weeks. First they decided to slash library opening times and now they have decided to close Lisnasharragh High School.”
“45% of pupils at Lisnasharragh High School have special educational needs, this is one and a half times the average figure for East Belfast school pupils. 45% of pupils at Lisnasharragh are entitled to free school meals, this is also one and a half times the average for children in East Belfast.
“These figures show that the school provides a vital service for one of the most socially and economically deprived areas of East Belfast. These figures also show that the school has successfully mainstreamed many pupils that would otherwise have been in special educational needs schools. Ensuring that these pupils are in mainstream education has helped develop their learning and life skills greatly, and these skills will be of massive benefit to them when they leave school.
“It is abundantly clear that these undemocratic and unaccountable Commissioners are here merely to rubber stamp ridiculous cuts at the SEELB.”