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Schools: Northern Ireland

Volume 685: debated on Monday 9 October 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they expect the number of unfilled school places in Northern Ireland to change significantly at the beginning of the autumn term 2006.[HL6838]

The actual number of pupils enrolling in schools in 2006-07 will not be available until after the annual October census data have been gathered and verified. The latest pupil projections produced by the Department of Education indicate that the number of pupils is expected to show a reduction by around 5,600 between this school year and the next. This change would not necessarily lead to a corresponding increase in surplus places, which are also affected by changes in the schools' estate in the intervening period through the school building programme and rationalisations.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Rooker on 5 July (WA 78) concerning the Western Education and Library Board in Northern Ireland, when Maguiresbridge Primary School became a maintained school; and when the new school building was available for use. [HL6909]

As stated in my Written Answer on 6 July (Official Report, col. WA 78), Maguiresbridge Primary is a controlled school. The new school building was available for use in December 2005. Unfortunately due to a formatting error this was not immediately clear in the original signed copy of the Answer that was given to the noble Lord.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Minister in charge of education in Northern Ireland has met a delegation representing St Joseph's High School in Plumbridge or visited the school; and, if not, whether she will visit the school before a decision is made about its future.[HL7065]

The Minister in charge of education, Maria Eagle, has not received a request to meet a delegation representing the school or to visit the school. The two-month consultation period following the publication of the development proposal ended on 28 June 2006, and a decision on the development proposal will be made as soon as possible. There are no plans to visit the school.