Bangor school in new bid to ease limits on enrolments

Peter Weir has urged the Department of Education to find 'common sense practical solutions'
Peter Weir has urged the Department of Education to find 'common sense practical solutions'

A school in one of the areas worst affected by a “crisis” in enrolments is expected to find out in the coming days if an application to increase admissions is successful.

The Education Authority revealed last week that “around 300” pupils across Northern Ireland were still without a place to start at a new school upon leaving primary seven.

Former education minister Peter Weir said the problems were “particularly acute” in and around the north Down area.

Parents from the north Down area told the News Letter last week they were considering home schooling due to a lack of suitable options for their childrens’ secondary education.

One school in that area, Bangor Academy, had applied twice for what is known as a “temporary variation” to increase enrolments for the coming year amid what the principal, Matthew Pitts, described as “an unprecedented amount of applications”.

Mr Weir, and other DUP figures including the MP Jim Shannon, met with the Departmen of Education on Friday to push for “common sense practical solutions”.

MLA Mr Weir, speaking to the News Letter yesterday, said he expected a fresh application from Bangor Academy for a ‘temporary variation’ in enrolments to be decided upon this week.

“The verdict on that application from Bangor Academy will come at some stage this week,” he said.

“I pressed upon the officials the seriousness of the concerns of parents.”