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Minister announces closure of Ballygolan Primary School

Education Minister, John O'Dowd, has approved a development proposal to close Ballygolan Primary School in Belfast.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Commenting on the decision, Mr O’Dowd said: “Ballygolan Primary School has been suffering from declining enrolments in recent years with around 50 pupils currently enrolled in Years 1-7.  I have therefore agreed to close the school as I am confident that the children’s educational needs can now be best met at alternative schools within the area.  

“I am sure that all those involved, including parents and school staff, will work hard to ensure a smooth transition for the children to their new schools and I wish them all the best in the future.  I would also like to pay tribute to all those connected with Ballygolan Primary School who over many years have shown their commitment and dedication to the school and its pupils.”

The school will close with effect from 31 August 2013 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Notes to editors:

  1. On 15 November 2012, the Belfast Education and Library Board (BELB) published Development Proposal No 214, which proposed that education provision at Ballygolan Primary School, Belfast, would cease from 31 August 2013 or as soon as possible thereafter.
  2. Ballygolan Primary School is located in the Whitewell area of north Belfast. It is a controlled co-educational primary school with an approved enrolment of 240 pupils. At October 2012, 50 pupils were enrolled in Years 1-7 at the school with a further 11 pupils enrolled in the school’s learning support classes plus 24 pupils in its nursery unit.
  3. The Department’s Sustainable Schools Policy recommends that, as a minimum, 140 pupils should be enrolled in an urban primary school.
  4. The Department of Education has launched a new ‘Education Works’ advertising campaign. The campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect website for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  5. View photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection.
  6. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699715440 and your call will be returned.