Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd has said there cannot be a blanket approach to rural schools from the Education Authority and the Department of Education when it comes to Area Planning.
The former Education Minister said:
“Rural schools are the heartbeat of local communities in Upper Bann and further afield, and the Education Authority shouldn’t judge their sustainability by fluctuating pupil numbers alone.
“Many of these schools have provided and will continue to provide an excellent standard of education to our children.
“The Education Authority must take that into account as well as the importance of having a local school in a rural community.
” Each individual school has its own unique story to tell and that story must be heard by decision makers before any decision is made on the future of a school.”