East Belfast MLA Robin Newton has urged the Education Authority to support Tullycarnet Primary School. There are concerns amongst the local community around a lack of assurance from the EA about the schools future. As part of the area planning process a meeting took place with the Education Authority and parents of pupils attending the school.
Commenting afterwards the DUP MLA said,
‘This meeting was called to discuss the future of the school. There was obvious concern on the part of parents given that one of the options on the table was closure.
The Education Authority were keen to indicate that their consultation was based on area planning to sustain viable schools and meet the Department’s sustainable schools policy. However, when pressed by parents about the school’s future there were few answers forthcoming.
Tullycarnet PS is very much a local school rooted in and serving the community in the Tullycarnet estate and surrounding hinterland. The area is a Neighbourhood Development area and recognised as being in need of investment to address social conditions. As such we need to stop talking about the cost of education and talk instead about investing in the future of children in the area.
The school deserves support and some certainty for the future to give the community confidence. I would urge the Education Authority to take the concerns of parents on board and work to formulate a way forward to sustain the school.
We have seen in East Belfast where Dundonald High School, having been proposed for closure, was saved following a successful plan involving the school, parents, elected representatives and the local community.'