Education news

Fewer than 50 children without post-primary place

Just 44 children now remain without a place for next year

FEWER than 50 schoolchildren remain without a Year 8 place for September - although dozens of schools still have space.

Almost 1,300 more children are transferring from P7 to post-primary this year across the north.

Close to 24,000 children were informed on June 1 which schools they will attend.

Areas including east and west Belfast, south Derry and south Armagh were among those most affected by the increase.

Work is continuing to accommodate every child. Since the start of June the number unplaced has fallen from 226 to 44.

The Education Authority (EA) has said there are places at 74 post-primary schools.

This includes three grammar schools - St Patrick's in Armagh, St Columb's in Derry and St Louis' in Kilkeel.

A dozen children living in the Belfast City Council area are yet to be placed, three of them in the west of the city.

Changes to Catholic education in west Belfast that come into effect this year removed hundreds of places at all-girls' schools.

The EA said there remained places at three schools in the west - St Colm's, the new All Saints College and a "very limited number" at the integrated Malone College.

Many of those unplaced are awaiting the outcome of an appeal against schools' decisions to refuse children admission.

A total of 400 appeals were lodged this year, up from 297 in 2018.

An appeal can only be upheld if a tribunal finds that the admissions criteria were not applied by the school.

More than 1,000 extra places were awarded to schools this year to cope with added demand.

Parents of children in P6 are being reassured that pressure on places should ease slightly next year.

Officials are already looking at creating extra places, and pupil numbers are not expected to rise as sharply as the last two years.

There were 23,949 transferring this year compared to the 24,017 that are currently in P6.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 to get full access

Education news

Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: