Michael McGimpsey, Ulster Unionist MLA for South Belfast, has expressed his shock at the Education Minister`s proposal to amalgamate Newtownbreda and Knockbreda High Schools.
Mr McGimpsey said:
“The Minister`s announcement is a kick in the teeth for the staff and pupils of Newtownbreda High School. Newtownbreda is a successful school which stands on its own and successfully took on pupils and staff from Lisnasharragh and Dunmurry High Schools when they closed.
“Instead of raising doubt about the future of Newtownbreda, the Minister should be reinforcing the school given its progressive ethos and structure. Pupils need continuity and instead the Minister has injected more doubt. He is effectively closing the last state secondary school in South Belfast.
“I attended a packed parents meeting in the School`s Assembly Hall. The unanimous decision of those who attended was that the ethos and structure of the school should be retained. Instead of taking that on board, the Minister has done completely the opposite. I fail to understand how John O`Dowd has arrived at a decision which ignores the views of teachers, parents and pupils and puts the welfare of pupils at the end of the queue.”