SAY NO TO THE AMALGAMATION OF 4 SCHOOLS TO FORM A "SUPER SCHOOL" IN DOWNPATRICK
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Please sign the petition to say no to any amalgamation plans for Downpatrick post primary Catholic schools.
A plan by the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) to merge four schools in south Down. The proposal would see Downpatrick's De La Salle High (CCMS), St Mary's High (CCMS) and St Patrick's Grammar (whose Trustees are the De La Salle Congregation), as well as St Columba's College in Portaferry (CCMS), become a single 'super school' by 2021 on the current St. Patrick's Grammar campus which would accommodate around 1,600 pupils in the town.
St Patrick's Grammar School's (known locally as The Red High) Parents & Friends Association (PFA) has totally rejected this merger plan.
The Board of Governors, staff, pupils and parents also are overwhelmingly against this plan as it will ruin Catholic education in Downpatrick. No thought or consideration has been given by the Trustees and CCMS to the consequences of this planned amalgamation if it should go ahead. 1600/1700 pupils just will not fit on the current campus. The residential areas around the campus is not able to cope with double the amount of traffic including buses.
No thought has been given to the staff of the 4 schools and whether their jobs will be secure. No thought has been given to the emotional wellbeing of the pupils with teachers split over 3 sites. There will be no sense of a school community. No equality survey or environmental impact study has been forthcoming from CCMS or the Trustees. There is no guarantee of any capital budget from the Department of Education for modifications to facilitate the 1600/1700 students in the current St. Patrick's Grammar Campus.
The Red High PFA cannot help but feel that CCMS and The Trustees of St. Patrick's Grammar School's drive to rationalise school places in the Catholic maintained sector jeopardises St. Patrick's Grammar School, a well Managed Catholic grammar school with an active and involved Board of Governors. This successful school will be the innocent casualty and this generation of pupils, its innocent victims.
PLEASE STOP THESE PLANS FOR AMALGAMATION
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