Cochrane outlines her ongoing work regarding Strandtown admissions

Alliance East Belfast MLA, Judith Cochrane, has outlined the work she has done with Strandtown Primary School in East Belfast. Her comments were made after a letter was sent to parents of the three feeder infant primary schools around new admissions procedures.

A problem has arisen as the admissions number in Strandtown is smaller than the aggregate potential of the three feeder schools – Greenwood, Belmont and Dundela.

Judith Cochrane MLA said: “As a former pupil of Strandtown I have been working closely with the school since my election in 2011 to ensure necessary refurbishments are carried out in the school and to progress plans for a permanent solution to replace the mobile classrooms.

“With one of my daughters now attending the school, I have also recently been appointed to the Board of Governors and know how frustrated the staff and governors are with the enrolment changes being forced on the school.

“Parents of Primary 3 aged children attending the Infant Schools in East Belfast will have received a letter inviting them to attend a meeting regarding new admissions procedures for Strandtown.

“Understandably, these parents are concerned as the longstanding link, between the schools, which was described at the time of enrolment to P1 is being removed against the wishes of all four Boards of Governors.

“The problem has arisen because of rising numbers in Greenwood, Belmont and Dundela infants schools, and the fact that the admissions number in Strandtown is smaller than the aggregate potential of the feeder schools. I alerted the Education Minister to this fact through an Assembly Question back in June 2013.

“I have been in continuous correspondence with the Minister on this issue in the hope that a solution can be found. Indeed, the Minister has assured me that he has requested regular updates from BELB and expects them to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the situation is managed in the best interests of all the children concerned.

“The Boards of Governors, staff, parents and pupils would all agree that the best interests would be that the children transition as normal from the feeder schools to Strandtown, and I will continue to do everything I can to achieve this option.”


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