Primary School Provision in Ballymena South

Part of Adjournment – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 6:00 pm on 3rd November 2009.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Declan O'Loan Declan O'Loan Social Democratic and Labour Party 6:00 pm, 3rd November 2009

I will not comment on whether it is fair and equitable or identical treatment; the two situations are probably not the same in terms of the problems that are presented. However, I will say that all those situations are difficult and painful, and, sometimes, the accepting of the pain can lead to a good outcome. In the maintained sector, we got a very good outcome in two very fine, well-equipped schools that give great confidence, motivation and morale to parents, staff and the whole community. That is something that we should not lose sight of.

As for enrolments, I notice that Ballee Primary School has had a declining roll over the years, falling to 71 in 2006-07. I only have the newspaper information on this, but Ballee is quoted in one of the newspapers as having an enrolment of 45, so there seems to have been significant further leakage there. The board analysed the spare capacity in the controlled schools, and it has Ballee with a long-term enrolment estimate of 65. As I say, enrolment appears to have gone below that, if the newspaper figure is correct. Camphill Primary School, which is also in that area and also has a fine new building, is described as having a projected spare capacity of 64 — that must be a relevant factor. Harryville Primary School —