O’Dowd turns down enrolment increase at Ballymena Academy

Education Minister John O'Dowd has turned down a development proposal for an increase in enrolment and admission numbers at Ballymena Academy.
Education Minister John O'Dowd has turned down a development proposal for an increase in enrolment and admission numbers at Ballymena Academy.

Education Minister John O’Dowd has turned down a development proposal for an increase in the enrolment and admission number at Ballymena Academy.

Mr O’Dowd said that he had considered the proposal put forward in the context of area planning and had decided to reject the proposed increase to the enrolment and admissions numbers at the school.

“I do not believe the proposal has been area plan proofed,” Mr O’Dowd said.

He added: “I also have concerns that the school may not be accessible to all the young people in the area, as a result of its admissions policy and charging of school fees.

“I am aware that a proposal for Cambridge House Grammar School, Ballymena, was expected to be published late last year but was postponed to allow the former North Eastern Education and Library Board to consider the consultation responses fully.

“Ideally linked proposals for an area should be brought forward simultaneously.

“I accept that it was not possible in this instance.

“However I am required to make a decision on the published proposal for Ballymena Academy.

“My decision will provide all concerned, particularly parents and children, with certainty on the position and enable the Education Authority to revisit its plans for the Ballymena area.”