Rogan meets with NIPSA representatives on Ardnabannon closure
Sinn Féin MLA Emma Rogan has today met with NIPSA representatives of Ardnabannon staff to hear their concerns about the impending closure of the Outdoor Education Centre.
Sinn Féin is concerned about the decision to close Ardnabannon which provides vital services to young people.
Speaking following the meeting Emma Rogan said:
“I share the frustration of NIPSA reps and staff and service users that we will see statutory facilities close and increasing numbers of children pushed into the voluntary and private sectors.
"Sinn Féin are calling for a full and urgent Equality Impact Assessment about the impact this closure will have on rural and disadvantaged children. We are confident such a process will reveal the harm the Ardnabannon closure will have on the wider community.
"There are genuine fears in the community that in years to come education officials will have little or no control over such an important part of the learning process.
“As we strive to bring about shared education, this decision is a setback for these ambitions, as it is the only statutory facility that is big enough to accommodate multi-school residential projects.
"The Education Authority should be investing to enhance such a facility, not disposing of it.
“Staff have made clear that their views were not adequately taken on board by decision makers.
"Sinn Féin have significant concerns about the potential negative impacts of the closure of Ardnabannon on the Section 75 groups particularly young LGBT people.
"We will continue to raise our concerns with the Department and, alongside a full Equality Impact Assessment, demand that the decision to close Ardnabannon is reversed."