Catholic parents press for grammars schools

Bishop Donal McKeown
Bishop Donal McKeown

Some Catholic parents in Co Down have responded to school merger plans by telling their church that they want grammar schools.

Bishop Donal McKeown, chair of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools, emailed parents as part of a ongoing consultation on the proposed merger of Downpatrick schools De La Salle High School, St Mary’s High School, St Patrick’s Grammar School and St Columba’s College in Portaferry.

One parent said that the plans would “destroy” St Patrick’s Grammar School, the BBC said, but the bishop asked for evidence that “suggests non-selective education benefits everybody including the high achievers?”

Another said some Catholic boys would go to the nearby controlled grammar instead and that a large percentage of parents want grammar school education. He responded that other areas had not suffered due to the end of academic selection.