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Garvaghey primary to close mid-term after all pupils leave.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Garvaghey primary to close mid-term after all pupils leave. thumbnailSt Matthew’s Primary School, Garvaghey

A PRIMARY school outside Ballygawley is to close by the end of January after every child left the school.

St Matthew's PS in Garvaghey has suffered from low enrolments for a number of years and has long been earmarked for a potential merger with three other Catholic Maintained primary schools in the area.

The school had just two new pupils in P1 in September, up from one the previous year.

A case for change document from the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) said there was a significant number of surplus places in schools in the area and proposal to shut St Matthew's "best addresses this issue".

CCMS noted that the strengths of the school included the outstanding quality of the pastoral care, the excellent leadership of the principal and "the purposeful engagement of the staff with the parents and the local community".

"While St Matthew's Primary School could be regarded as meeting the sustainability criteria and indicators relating to quality educational experience, strong leadership and management, accessibility and strong links with the community, its enrolment is low and it is not in a sound financial position," CCMS said.

CCMS had stated its preferred option was for the school to close at the end of August 2018, but the departure of all the pupils mean it will now be wound up, closing its doors for the final time on 31st January, 2018.

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