It has just been confirmed that Immaculate Conception College, the last Catholic Maintained post-primary school on the East bank of Derry, is to close.
Complete closure of the school will be next year, on 31st August 2015, and will take place on a phased basis, with no admissions to Years 8 or 11 in September this year.
The Education Minister, John O’Dowd, has approved the development proposal commenting, “The closure of this school is one of the recommendations outlined in the Strategic Report of the NI Commission for Catholic Education and is reflected in the Western Education and Library Board post-primary area plan.
“Immaculate Conception College has played a valuable role in the education of boys and girls from the Waterside area of Derry. However the demographic decline over the years has adversely impacted on enrolments with only 123 pupils enrolled in the school in 2013/2014.”
The Minister continued, “The school Trustees, supported by the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools, have put forward the case for closure and I believe that acting now is in the best educational interests of the young people attending Immaculate Conception College.
“I have approved the Trustees’ proposal of a phased closure to ensure minimal disruption to the education of the children concerned and I wish them all the best in the future. I would also like to pay tribute to all those connected with Immaculate Conception College, who over many years have shown their commitment and dedication to the school and its pupils.”