Anger and confusion over future of Garvagh High School

EAST Derry SDLP Assembly Member John Dallat has met parents of children attending Garvagh High School where enrolment numbers has fallen to eighty.

Mr Dallat told the Times: “There is widespread concern, anger and disappointment among parents involving the lack of transparency over the future education of their children when the school closes as it seems likely it will.

“While it is clear to me the current enrolment at the school cannot deliver the curriculum it disappoints me that the parents appear to be badly informed as to the future education of their children and that is appalling.”

“We now find that Maghera has gone some years ago and Garvagh is likely to follow with rural children dispersed to a variety of schools in different towns.

Those remaining at Garvagh have no idea what the plan is for them, what transport arrangements will exist and how the transition from Garvagh to another school will be made to ensure it is as smooth as possible. Likewise we do not know if the teachers will be following them as happened in the maintained sector in North Antrim. Parents are concerned about what school to send their children to.”

because there remains uncertainty about the future of other schools in the controlled sector. There is also the vexed question of transport which has not been discussed or the individual needs of the pupils who will be affected if closure is followed through.

“All these issues need to be discussed in an open, honest and transparent manner and towards that end I will seeking a meeting with the relevant authorities.

“Similar problems exist in the maintained sector but at least there is some attempt being made to put in place a plan which will deal with falling numbers. It may not be perfect and is also causing concern amount teachers, parents and pupils but at least it is the basis for discussion and modification.’