SDLP’s frustration at Education Minster’s refusal to meet on Annaghmore School proposals

Education Minister John O'Dowd
Education Minister John O'Dowd

SDLP Coalisland Representative Malachy Quinn has expressed his concern and frustration at Education Minister John O’Dowd’s refusal to meet with both the SDLP and St Patricks Annaghmore PS over the school’s request to increase its pupil admission

numbers for September.

Mr Quinn said “After a meeting with the Principal of Annaghmore Primary School, SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone had requested an urgent meeting with the Sinn Fein Education Minister John O’Dowd to discuss the issue of increasing pupil admissions in Annaghmore Primary for next September. It’s with deep regret that I can confirm that the Minister has declined to meet on the issue.

“This isn’t just a small matter of a school looking to increase numbers, it is about the right of local parents to send their children to their local primary school with their friends and neighbours. Children deserve the best start to their education and Annaghmore has proven year after year to be one of the best schools in the north.

“My fear is that by declining this meeting the Minister will now make the wrong decision in regards to this matter.

Mr Quinn continued: “The school have made an official request to the Department of Education to increase their enrolment for September to accommodate the increased demand they are experiencing, and I would call on all Mr O’Dowd’s Party representatives in the area, and indeed his Sinn Fein Ministerial colleague from the Clonoe area, to support the SDLP and St Patricks Annaghmore Primary School on this very important issue.”