SELB denies plan to hold grammar school discussions ‘in secret’


The Southern Education and Library Board has denied that it is to hold a “critical” meeting about the future of Upper Bann grammar schools behind closed doors.

Upper Bann DUP MLA Stephen Moutray yesterday hit out at the SELB management after being told that Craigavon Area Planning discussions will, as he put it, “take place in secret behind closed doors” at SELB headquarters tomorrow.

The SELB has proposed scrapping the unique post-primary transfer system in Craigavon and critics fear the board will replace grammar schools in the area with a comprehensive system.

Mr Moutray said a board survey to be discussed tomorrow had resulted in 4,800 responses, the “vast majority of which are in favour of retaining the status quo”.

He added: “This is a matter of critical public interest and I believe it is only right that I should be allowed to sit in on behalf of my electorate.”

An SELB spokesman said board members could decided to hear items in private.

“No decision has been taken to hold any discussions ‘behind closed doors’. In line with standing orders, it would be a matter for board members to decide during the meeting whether they wished to take a particular item ‘in committee’,” he said.

The survey will be published online afterwards, he added.