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WHATS THE LATEST ON HILDEN SCHOOL?
IS IT GOOD NEWS FOR SEPTEMBER 2006 OR NOT SOO GOOD?
Hi Sadie, Haven't heard a word about it. I guess no one else has either. Can't believe you have not had a reply, I suppose it's not a popular subject. Everybody must be on holiday.
It looks like Hilden School isn,t the only school destined to be closed, here is a report from today,s Belfast Telegraph
Secret papers reveal plans for more closures
By Kathryn Torney
13 July 2006
Another secret plan outlining options for further school closures in Northern Ireland can be revealed by the Belfast Telegraph today.
The proposal paper - which has so far been kept under wraps by the North Eastern Education and Library Board (NEELB) - has been released as pressure continues to mount on the education boards to reduce the number of surplus places in Ulster's schools.
The NEELB announced in March that it was planning to start a three-year programme of school amalgamations, closures and new buildings in the controlled sector as a result of falling pupil numbers. There are currently over 10,300 surplus places within controlled schools in the board area.
The NEELB confirmed then that there could be up to 13 rationalisations, but said that its plans would remain confidential until consultation had taken place with schools' boards of governors.
Recently, the board said that the action plan document remained confidential as work has only begun - however, it was released to the Belfast Telegraph this week shortly after a Freedom of Information request was lodged.
The Belfast Telegraph has already revealed that up to 30 primary schools face closure/amalgamation in the Southern Education Board area, and also that officials at the Belfast Board have earmarked 30 primary schools to consider for closure, amalgamation or survival.
The NEELB's School Rationalisation Programme Proposals outline areas - as well as individual nursery, primary and post-primary schools - which will be reviewed by the board.
The schools facing an uncertain future include Ballycastle Nursery, Magherafelt Nursery, Maghera High and Garvagh High.
The board also plans to consult on primary school provision in Newtownabbey and Antrim.
Ballymena will face close scrutiny of the need for all of its primary, post-primary and special schools, and rationalisation of special unit provision in Coleraine will also be considered.
The board plans to continue with its ongoing review of small rural primary schools and those suffering financial difficulties.
The NEELB rationalisation programme is due to be completed by the end of the 2008/09 school year. Speaking in March, a spokesman said: "There are simply not sufficient pupils to sustain the existing network of schools and we have to address the issues that are raised by that undeniable fact.
"We want to work with local people, school communities, parents and politicians to consider the way forward over a period of time."
The BELB's plan - which outlined dramatic proposals to reduce the number of controlled primary schools across the city from 30 to 15 - could save the board almost £7m and reduce the number of costly surplus school places by over 4,600.
However, DUP representatives on the Belfast Board, Nelson McCausland and Diane Dodds, have since claimed that officials had not been authorised to produce recommendations for specific schools.
Frank Bunting, from the Irish National Teachers' Organisation, said there was a real need for more consultation between education boards, the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools and the integrated schools' sector when it comes to rationalisation.
"There is currently minimal consultation taking place," he said.
"The loser in all of this is the children, who are being educated almost totally apart. We need to look to a shared future."
Mr Bunting said that he hoped teacher numbers could be maintained, despite school rationalisations across Northern Ireland. He said this would allow for a better pupil/teacher ratio and for more teachers to be deployed into areas of educational disadvantage.
The NEELB covers the council areas of Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Carrickfergus, Coleraine, Larne, Magherafelt, Moyle and Newtownabbey.
Anyone know anything new about our wee school? I,m sure Waddy Woodende would turn in his grave if he knew what had been planned.
I believe 7th September is the day when we will know what is happening
Maybe Hilden school could get a few bob from this source
Schools open despite funding snub
Two integrated schools are to open in September
Two new integrated schools are due to open
Two proposed integrated schools recently turned down for funding are opening with financial help from the Integrated Education Fund.
It is believed Rowallane Integrated College, situated on the old Belvoir hospital site in south Belfast, received £500,000 from the fund.
Clogher Valley Primary School was given £250,000.
The schools are opening despite the Department of Education's decision to refuse them funding earlier this year.
Two other integrated schools were also refused funding by the education minister at the time, Angela Smith.
Ms Smith said the new schools were turned down because they were proposed for areas which already had surplus capacity.
Integrated education has been promoted as a way to break down Northern Ireland's sectarian divisions.
The Integrated Education Fund is a charity established in 1992 to promote the development and growth of integrated education in Northern Ireland.
The first integrated school in Northern Ireland was Lagan College which opened near Belfast in 1981 and there are now 61 integrated schools with more than 18,500 pupils on the roll books.
BBC News Northern Ireland 4th Sept 2006