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Four Co Armagh primary schools under threat due to ‘sustainability’ issues

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Mullavilly and Derryhale are two of the four primary schools in Co Armagh which have had question marks placed over their future this week by the Education Authority (EA).

Mullavilly in Laurelvale and the nearby Derryhale schools have been placed on red alert following the publication of The EA’s action plan on Wednesday.

Sustainability issues are identified for 27 schools across Northern Ireland, with the document aiming to address “school provision where sustainability is an issue”.

The other two mentioned were St Michael’s in Clady and neighbouring Foley Primary School in Ballymacnab.

However, the EA states that any action to close or merge a school would first be subject to consultation.

“In many areas of Northern Ireland there are too many school places for the size of the population, while in other areas, there are not enough places,” said Education Authority director of education John Collings.

“It may also be the case that there are not enough school places of the right type – perhaps demand for integrated or Irish medium education isn’t being met in a particular area.

“Area planning seeks solutions to these issues to ensure all pupils have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”

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