New education minister sounds death knell for Draperstown’s Altayeskey PS

Education Minister, Peter Weir
Education Minister, Peter Weir

Just two months after taking office, Education Minister, Peter Weir, has approved a proposal to close Altayeskey Primary School in Draperstown.

A statement from his department said today: “Enrolments at the school have been in decline over the past four years, with only 25 pupils currently registered.

“In light of the significant decline in enrolments, the Education Authority, at the request of CCMS, decided to bring forward a proposal to close the school from 31 August 2016.”

It is also understood that the school was projected to be in continuing financial deficit over the next few years

Commenting on the decision, Minister Weir said: “I have carefully considered the proposal put forward. Altayeskey Primary School has suffered from declining enrolments and is therefore no longer educationally sustainable.

“I would like to pay tribute to all those connected with Altayeskey Primary School, who over many years, have shown their commitment and dedication to the school and its pupils.

“I am confident that those involved, including parents and school staff, will ensure a smooth transition for the children as they transfer to their new schools in September.”