Post-primary feedback deadline is extended

The deadline for feedback on controversial proposals to radically transform post-primary education in Derry has been extended by three weeks.

Diocesan Administrator Monsignor Eamon Martin says he has agreed to the June 22 extension following “various requests”.

He says he is anxious to receive as many responses as possible to his ‘Together Towards Tomorrow” document before the summer.

He has proposed a radical shake up of post-primary education in the city which could signal the end of academic selection, single sex schools, and the creation of two new sixth-form colleges.

Mons. Martin plans a “partnership of distinct but linked Catholic post-primary schools in the Derry area known as the Le Chéile Partnership.” Le Chéile is Irish for ‘together’.

Mons. Martin told the ‘Journal’ this week that, since its publication in February, his paper has generated “considerable debate and discussion.”

“I have been encouraged by the high level of interest and conversation about the paper in the past few months,” he added.

Monsignor Martin says he will take some time to reflect on all responses received before considering the next steps.

‘It will take some time to read and analyse the responses and to consider all that I have heard in the many meetings and conversations that I have had,” he added.

“I will then wish to discuss the findings with the other Trustees. As I said at the outset, I am anxious to try to build consensus on the way forward.”

Meanwhile, a public meeting to discuss Mons. Martin’s plan will take place at Da Vinci’s Hotel Conference Centre on Wednesday, May 30 at 8 p.m.

An open invitation to the meeting - issued by a group calling itself the Derry Grammar Schools Parents Association - has been extended to “parents of school going children”.