Outer South Belfast school place crisis needs addressed - Ó Muilleoir
Sinn Féin MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has called on the Catholic Council for Maintained Schools (CCMS) to come up with a solution, which resolves the school places’ crisis in outer South Belfast.
Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said:
“I have been deeply impressed with that standard of education in South Belfast across all sectors, controlled, integrated, Irish medium and Catholic.
"I meet regularly with principals and teachers who are doing tremendous work, often under enormous pressure, to realise the potential of our young people.
"It is no surprise to me that excellent Catholic schools such as Holy Rosary, St Michael’s, and St Bernard’s in upper Ormeau as well as St Joseph’s and St Ita’s in Carryduff are finding it difficult to meet the demand for places this September.
“The parents and children of South Belfast deserve a solution to this crisis from the CCMS, which not only resolves matters this year — perhaps by permitting 20 additional places in the Carryduff parish area at St Joseph’s primary school — but which also provides a foundation for growth in the time ahead.
“Over recent days, I have visited St Bernard’s and St Joseph’s and been in touch with many of the other schools in the district.
“All are committed first and foremost to the welfare and education of the young people in their charge and, importantly, none want to turn away children who, in some cases, have brothers and sisters at the school already.
"In correspondence to me today, the Education Authority says the sectoral education bodies have agreed to come up with proposals to deal with the oversubscription for Catholic maintained and integrated schools by March 2018.
"It is clear this work needs to be speeded up.
"I will continue to fight for additional funding for St Joseph’s primary school if a way is found to increase numbers at the Carryduff school and I plan to meet with the CCMS shortly on this issue."