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Alliance anger at Knockbreda refusal

April 17, 2008 7:15 PM

Alliance Party Deputy Leader Naomi Long MLA and Castlereagh Alliance Councillor Michael Long have expressed their disappointment and frustration at the Education Minister, Catriona Ruane's decision not to allow Knockbreda Primary School to transform to integrated status. This is the second occasion that the school has been refused permission to transform.

Cllr. Naomi Long MLA stated: "I cannot comprehend why the Minister has come to the conclusion that Knockbreda Primary School should be denied the chance to have integrated status. How can a school which already exists, and which has an increasingly mixed in take be a threat to other schools by simply transforming its status?

"Parents and teachers wholeheartedly supported the transformation proposal and wanted to see the school gain integrated status but it is now clear that the Minister is not listening to those views.

"The school is located in an area where people from all backgrounds live together and yet their children are again being refused the right to be educated together, against the wishes of their parents.

Cllr. Michael Long added, "The Executive have been consistently reluctant to promote a shared future: now they appear unwilling to even facilitate one. I know that the school and the parents will continue with the positive work they are doing to provide a shared, integrated alternative and am just disappointed that, for the meantime, they are not getting the support of Government for their efforts."

ENDS

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