Pupils at St John the Baptist College in Portadown impacted by Covid-19 are to be allowed to stay and complete their studies through to key stage 4.
The decision was delivered by the Education Minister Peter Weir.
It will apply to the current cohort of pupils.
But a development proposal will be required to make it a permanent arrangement.
That, however, appears to be in the pipeline.
Currently pupils must leave at the age of 14 but there had been moves to allow the college to extend teaching up as far as GCSE level.
As Armagh I reported in February, the overall goal eventually is to extend education up as far as age 19 to allow for the inclusion of A Level subjects too.
A pre-public consultation – which concluded in March before lockdown – had been held to gauge public opinion.
That is yet to be studied and a development proposal will follow.
However, due to the unprecedented turn of affairs the extension is being granted now to assist current pupils who will be allowed to stay and complete their studies through to key stage 4.
The decision has been welcomed by Sinn Féin Upper Bann MLA John O’Dowd.
He said: “As with so much in our society and life Covid-19 got in the way of the school’s future plans for the provision of key stage 4 education for children up to 16.
“With a delay in a decision on those plans children and their parents were left in limbo as to what lay ahead for them.
“I along with other politicians lobbied the Minister to allow the children to stay at St John’s and I welcome the fact he has now made that decision.
“I wish St John’s and its school communities all the best for the future and thank the Minister for his decision.”
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