Dungannon district school launches integrated bid

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A Dungannon District primary school has formally launched its bid to become the first Catholic school in Northern Ireland to transform to integrated status.

The Southern Education and Library Board has received the formal notification from Clintyclay Primary School, which is under threat from closure.

Gerry Cunningham, Chairman of the school’s Board of Governors said the plan had the support of parents of pupils at the school and the wider community.

“We are now awaiting the Education Minister’s decision, but are positive given the overwhelming community support, that the proposal will go ahead.

“We see integrated status not only as a very beneficial move for the school, but in terms of greater community cohesion. The children attending Clintyclay are getting a great education and will be getting an even greater one in the future.”

Parents of pupils attending the Clonmore school called for the radical overhaul after a secret ballot last month.

It is understood that not a single parent voted against the integrated proposal, which was first passed by the board of governors at the start of the year.

Parents and supporters hope that the move will ensure the survival of the school, which was earmarked for potential closure last year by the Southern Education and Library Board after the education minister ordered a review. However, the school might have to manoeuvre through a legal and educational minefield to stay open.