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Anamar PS is set to close after 175 years

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Anamar PS is set to close after 175 years thumbnailAnamar Primary School has been in operation since 1842

ANAMAR Primary School will close at the end of this school year, it has been confirmed.

Senior civil servants have made the decision to close the border school, where just 26 of its 91 places were filled.

The decision to close the school, along with Tullycarnet Primary School in Belfast, is the first time since devolution was restored that any school closure has been approved by someone other than a minister.

The schools were two of eight school closure proposals which had been left in the balance following the collapse of the Stormont Assembly.

There had been little time left for decisions to be made as talks aimed at restoring the power-sharing Executive are on hold until the General Election, which is being held on June 8 is over.

Anamar Primary School, which has been in operation since 1842, is located at the very edge of Upper Creggan Parish has traditionally served families from the parishes of both Upper and Lower Creggan.

The future of the school has been under threat for some years. Indeed an earlier proposal to close in 2009 was overturned by the overwhelming support of the local community.

Last year the Democrat reported on the proposal to close the school. The rationale for the proposal was outlined as follows: "Anamar Primary School has had an enrolment of about 40 pupils for a decade. Despite pressure on spaces in the other schools in the area this has remained the case.

"The proposal to close the school will reduce the number of unfilled places in the area and facilitate expansion of neighbouring schools in respect of parental preference. The pupils will experience the educational benefits a larger school can provide."

Permanent secretary Derek Baker signed off on the proposals.

"Any decision to close a school is an exceptionally significant issue which merits careful consideration," Mr Baker said.

"However, in light of the clearly expressed views, decline in numbers which undermines the school's viability, educational experience for pupils and availability of capacity in neighbouring primary schools, I accept the recommendations.".

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