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Schools: Northern Ireland

Volume 685: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What consultation process is taking place about the proposed closure of Groomsport Integrated Primary School in County Down.[HL7674]

On 19 September 2006, the South Eastern Education and Library Board (SEELB) published Development Proposal No. 178 for the closure of Groomsport Primary School with effect from 31 August 2007 or as soon as possible thereafter. The publication of the development proposal initiates a two-month statutory consultation period during which representations in support of or against the proposal can be made to the Department of Education. The two-month consultation period ends on 20 November 2006. Following the consultation period, the Minister with responsibility for education will make a decision on the development proposal in light of all the information provided.

Prior to the publication of the development proposal, the SEELB carried out its statutory requirement to consult the school's board of governors, parents and teachers as well as consulting all schools likely to be affected by the proposal. In addition, the commissioners appointed by the Department of Education to carry out the SEELB's functions met a delegation from Groomsport Primary School to hear directly their views and concerns on the proposed school closure.