Education news

De La Salle: Parents re-iterate call for governors to quit

De La Salle College in west Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann
Staff Reporter

PARENTS of boys at De La Salle College have repeated a call for senior management and governors to stand down.

The troubled west Belfast school has begun the new year under the leadership of an acting principal.

Vice-principal Marion O'Neill, who has been in charge since June, will continue as head.

Dr Martin Knox, principal of St Eugene's College in Roslea,

Co Fermanagh, has been seconded to De La Salle as vice-principal with curricular responsibility.

There will be an internal trawl for a temporary vice-principal post to fill Ms O'Neill's role.

The school was left in turmoil over a breakdown in relations between some of the 70-strong staff and principal Claire White for several months.

Ms White has been absent since the middle of April and no time scale has been given by the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools for her return.

One of the school's vice-principals is also understood to be absent, while the teacher representative on the board of governors, who stood down, is yet to be replaced.

The school has been operating with eight instead of nine governors since March.

The Concerned Parents of De La Salle group said yesterday that 168 days had now passed since it called on governors to quit.

"Despite a damning report they continue to remain in post," the group said.

A report published last month concluded there had been a serious breakdown of working relationships which impacted substantially on pupils. An independent panel made 40 recommendations to resolve a "wide range of issues".

The school will also face a second independent review - this time in relation to child safeguarding. The NSPCC last night dismissed a claim that it would spearhead this review.

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