Latest: Crievagh Primary School still waiting on letter as Minister announces closure

Crievagh Primary School
Crievagh Primary School

Following the Education Minister’s announcement that Crievagh Primary in Cookstown will close, the school said they have yet to receive a notification in writing from John O’Dowd, or the Department of Education.

The Minister, who released a statement to the press this morning [Jan 14], cites reasons such as unsustainable enrolment numbers and sufficient alternative provisions nearby, as some of the reasons for the decision.

When our reporter called Crievagh PS for its reaction to Mr O’Dowd’s statement, Principal George Cullen said: “We have nothing in writing here at this moment in time.

“Until we meet with the board of governors, stakeholders and the parents themselves, I would not be able to release a statement.”

Commenting on the decision, Mr O’Dowd said: “Crievagh Primary School has provided a good education to children from the local community for generations. However, the enrolment at the school is such that it is not sustainable into the future.

“The local area offers sufficient alternative provision for all these children and for others from the area in the future. These other settings are within reasonable distance and will ensure that the children have the opportunity to mix with a wider range of peers, boosting their learning experience.”

The Minister added: “I am sure that all those involved, including parents and school staff, will work hard to ensure a smooth transition for the children to their new schools and I wish them all the best in the future. I would also like to pay tribute to everyone connected with Crievagh Primary School who over many years have shown their commitment and dedication to the school and its pupils.”

The statement also outlined how “Crievagh Primary School should close from 31 August 2015, or as soon as possible thereafter”. The school had an enrolment of 31 pupils in the 2013/14 school year.