Education Minister pressed on needs of Fourtowns Primary School

TUV representatives and a delegation Fourtowns Primary School at Stormont.
TUV representatives and a delegation Fourtowns Primary School at Stormont.

TUV leader Jim Allister has led a deputation from Fourtowns Primary School to meet the Education minister, Peter Weir, to highlight the urgent accommodation and enrolment issues affecting the school.

Fourtowns obtained a new building in 2007 designed for 220 pupils, but currently its enrolment is 290, causing immense accommodation problems.

Moreover, with its P1 intake capped at 41, this year there was huge disappointment for many local children with 56 making the school their first preference.

The 15 refused entry were from the Ahoghill area and have now had to settle for more distant schools.

Commenting Jim Allister said: “Fourtowns has been the victim of its own success. It has already outgrown its new building and cannot met the demand for new admissions.

“I have been disappointed with the tardiness of the Education Authority’s response to this situation. Even requests for mobile classrooms have, so far, been declined.

“The school requires an extension and this could be done under the department’s School Enhancement Programme.

“Hence, these issues were the focus of our representations to the minister.”

Alderman McDonald added: “We’re looking for answers for Fourtowns, not just sympathy. The rejection of 15 local pupils this year has rightly caused great resentment.

“We need to see the accommodation shortage and the unrealistic cap on P1 admissions addressed. And we need it sooner rather than later.”