Glenarm school’s switch to integrated status approved
An east Antrim primary school has been granted approval by the Department of Education to transfer to integrated status.
Seaview in Glenarm is believed to be the first Catholic primary school in Northern Ireland to make such a transformation.
Closure of the coastal primary school was proposed by Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS).
This proposal was supported by the Education Authority further to plans for the closure in August of Carnalbanagh Primary School, a rural school outside Glenarm, which has served the community for almost two centuries.
Seaview Primary will switch to integrated status in September.
Commenting on the development, Seaview principal Barry Corr said: “To get to this stage, we have had many years of strategic planning and development working closely with pupils, staff, parents, governors, our local school community, politicians and a range of government bodies.
“Throughout this process, we have ensured that pupils have received high quality education with a strong focus to ensure they can reach their best through a balanced, engaging and exciting curriculum that takes its inspiration from our local environment.
“We educate pupils from all faiths and those that do not identify with any. Pupils grow up and learn about what makes them the same and what makes them different in a caring, loving and respectful way.
“We look forward to the exciting challenges from choosing a new school name and uniform to establishing a new school development plan.”
Previously, Mr Corr said he was confident that Seaview can achieve the target of 105 pupils detailed in the Sustainable Schools Policy. Enrolment rose from 67 pupils in 2019/20 to 80 in 2020/21.
Joanne Matthews, chairperson, Seaview Board of Governors, added: “I am delighted that the Minister of Education Peter Weir approved our Development Proposal to transform Seaview Primary School to integrated status on 1 September 2021.”
She said that without the support of the staff, governors, parents, pupils and the whole Glenarm community, “this historic moment in Northern Ireland’s history would not have been possible”.
She added: “We are officially the first Catholic primary school in Northern Ireland to transform to integrated status. This marks an exciting and bright future for primary school provision in Northern Ireland and the Glenarm area.
“We now look forward to continuing to provide a high standard of primary education for all of our children in the local area; a place where our children can grow and learn side by side in a safe, happy and nurturing environment.”
Coast Road DUP Councillor Andrew Clarke who has been involved with lobbying Education Minister Peter Weir on the school’s behalf said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Glenarm will move forward with a school catering for everyone.
“Massive congratulations to all involved, especially the chair of governors, for tremendous amount of effort they put into this.
“Minister Weir should also be congratulated: few of of politicians would have the attention to detail and longterm vision to make this decision.
Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter
Click here to read: Seaview says ‘yes’ to integration in Glenarm
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