Immaculate Conception College, the only Catholic post primary school in Derry’s Waterside will close its doors completely by 2015 if recommendations by the Catholic Council for Maintained Schools (CCMS) are put in place.
The Education Minister will have the final say on whether or not the school will close its doors after Gerry Lundy, Chief Executive of CCMS proposed that the best option would be a “phased closure” of the Trench Road site beginning in September 2014.
Mr. Lundy Said: “CCMS has carefully considered the sustainability and viability of Immaculate Conception College and has recommended that best option to provide for the needs and the entitlement of the pupils is for the school to close and arrangements put in place for the pupils to access other schools for their post-primary education.
“As a consequence CCMS has begun a consultation process with the governors, staff, parents and pupils of the college on the recommendation to close the school. The recommendation is that there will be a phased closure of the school starting from September 2014. If approved this means that no Year 8 pupils will start the school in September 2014 and that no Year 11 and 13 pupils will begin GCSE and post 16 courses in September 2014. The school would then close completely by September 2015.”
The CCMS Chief went on to say that a two month consultation period would now begin with staff and governers at the school.
He added: “CCMS will carefully consider the responses made before moving to the formal statutory stage of consultation which entails the publication of a Development proposal by the Western Education and Library Board. On publication of the Development Proposal there will follow a period of formal
consultation which lasts two months during which views can be expressed directly to the Department of Education. Following this the Minister for Education will make a decision as to the approval, or not, of the proposal. Once a decision has been made CCMS will work closely with the school to maximize the opportunities for the pupils and staff affected by the decision.”
Immaculate Conception Principal Frankie Orr, declined to comment on the statement on Friday.