Minister proposes an end to ‘grannying’

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The legal bar on children from Donegal attending post-primary school in Derry may soon be lifted

The North’s Education Minister John O’Dowd announced this week he has requested a survey of parents living along the border.

He said: “Border families will now have the opportunity to state if they would prefer their child to go to their nearest school, even if this is on the opposite side of the border from where they live. This will be particularly relevant in rural border areas where there may be only a couple of schools close to each other but have little or no contact at present

“I will be urging all parents with children at school along the border area to participate in the survey so that we can build better relationships and outcomes for all of our children along the border corridor.

An estimated 200 children from Donegal attend post-primary schools in Derry, Tyrone and Fermanagh.

Marie Lindsay the Principal of St Mary’s College in Derry welcomed the proposal.

She said: “I welcome the news of this survey. We know that there has already been movement, in both directions, on this front. A proposal looking at a planned education strategy for people living in border areas is long over due.”