The Southern Education and Library Board have today taken a vote on the future of post-primary provision in the controlled sector within the Craigavon area.
The SELB have voted in favour of Option A which was supported by five of the seven schools within the Dickson plan system. This option envisages the reorganisation of post-primary education in the Portadown, Lurgan and Tandragee areas resulting in new bi-lateral schools with both selective and non-selective intakes. A Development Proposal to give effect to the changes proposed under Option A will now be published in the autumn and, following a statutory period of consultation, the final decision on whether to grant approval will rest with the Minister of Education.
Minister O’Dowd said: “I have been informed that at its monthly meeting today, the SELB have supported the recommendation of the advisory sub-committee for controlled schools by backing Option A.
“However, it is important to note that today’s decision by the Board is only part of the process. Any significant change to the existing provision requires the publication of a statutory Development Proposal (DP) to support that intent. Following publication of a DP a two month consultation period begins to allow all interested and affected parties an opportunity to submit their comments/views on the proposal. At the end of the 2-month period, I will make a decision taking account of all the relevant and pertinent information and the comments received in regards the proposal.
“I will be happy to meet with schools, elected representatives, parents, pupils and other interested parties throughout the consultation process and will listen to their views and concerns before I make a final decision.”