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Lagan College allowed to admit 100 extra pupils

Lagan College integrated school. Picture by Mal McCann

ONE of the north's most oversubscribed schools has won ministerial approval to admit 100 extra pupils.

Education minister Peter Weir agreed that Lagan College in Belfast can increase numbers in its sixth form.

Over the last 15 years, the integrated school's 100 Year 13 places have been filled and it has been oversubscribed. It has 200 pupils in every group from Year 8-12.

A case for change noted that in addition to turning away its own pupils who wanted to progress into sixth form, it also rejected "significant numbers" of external post-16 students wanting to transfer.

The additional 100 places will be implemented on a phased basis with 50 added in September 2017 and another 50 in 2018.

Down High School, Our Lady and St Patrick's College in Belfast and Priory College in Holywood responded during the Education Authority's consultation opposing the proposal "because of the anticipated impact on their provision".

The Education and Training Inspectorate said it supported the proposal but cautioned that "the potential adverse impact of this on the newly formed and nearby Breda Academy should be given

due attention".

The Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education said the expansion would have little or no impact on neighbouring schools as additional places would "enablke the children already attending Lagan College in Year 12 to stay on at school".

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