Battle for senior high moves to High Court

Craigavon Senior High School, Lurgan Campus. INLM39-221.
Craigavon Senior High School, Lurgan Campus. INLM39-221.
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The court battle to keep pupils from the Lurgan campus of Craigavon Senior High School in their ‘home town’ has been put back for a month, the case was due for hearing at the High Court tomorrow (Thursday) but has now been put back to August 13.

The Education Authority’s consultation on a proposal to close the school campus and bus children to Portadown is the subject of a Judicial Review taken by a Lurgan family and supported by lobby group Education Equality for Lurgan.

The proposal was the subject of a consultation earlier this year but those opposed have argued the consultation was ‘biased’.

Representing the local family will be Clare McKeegan of Phoenix Law who said: “We issued proceedings in April. We’re arguing the consultation carried out by the Education Authority was flawed and biased and only ever going to achieve the outcome they desired,”

In light of the proceedings the Education Authority has temporarily suspended its consultations.

The Judicial Review had been due for hearing tomorrow (Thursday) but late this afternoon Education Equality or Lurgan revealed it has been delayed till August 13.

Speaking before that delay was revealed a spokesman for Education Equality for Lurgan said; “EEL is very disappointed that it has got to the stage where the Education Authority has had to be taken to court due to what is perceived by many as a flawed consultation.

“We always had reservations that this would be a fair and open process and firmly believe on reflection and the evidence we have that those reservations were totally justified.

“The response to the consultation paper of 86% against the proposal shows that the community is not in support of the Education Authority proposal and we are prepared to fight them every step of the way.

“The court case is not the end of this process it is only another stage on our battle for the children and the community in south Lurgan and surrounding areas.”