The Boards of Governors at Monkstown Community School and Newtownabbey Community High have welcomed the publication of plans for the merger of the schools.
The North Eastern Education and Library Board last week published development proposals relating to the amalgamation of the schools and the creation of a new post-primary school in the area for young people aged 11 - 19 years.
It’s thought that the new school, likely to open in September 2014, will be located on the existing Monkstown School site, but the NEELB has stressed that no final decision has yet been made.
At a meeting of their Joint Working Group on Thursday, October 17, governors from both schools assessed the development proposals in detail.
A statement issued after the meeting said that both sets of governors are fully committed to establishing a new 11-19 school. It also stressed that “the needs of the pupils, present and future, are paramount and that any decisions must be for their benefit.”
Chair of Monkstown Community School Board of Governors, Richard McChesney said: “We remain committed to the rationale, aims and objectives of the Area Based Plan as we believe it is in the best interests of the young people in the Newtownabbey area. We are delighted that significant progress has been made and now look forward to a swift decision by the Minister, allowing us to get on with the task of creating and establishing a new school by September 2014, or as soon as possible afterwards. We look forward to developing closer links with the staff and governors at Newtownabbey Community High School in the weeks and months ahead.”
Billy Snoddy, Chair of NCHS Board of Governors confirmed the urgency for immediate working links between the two schools, adding: “The Board of Governors, staff, parents and pupils of Newtownabbey Community High School are delighted that the planned new school will be one which accommodates pupils from the full 11-19 age range, as this was the clear desire of all stakeholders who responded to the recent consultations.
“The future augers well for the new merged school, which will bring the best of both current schools together to create an exciting, vibrant institution ready to prepare children for twenty first century living and learning.”
Members of the public are being invited to have their say on the merger plan during a period of consultation, which will end on December 14.
• A meeting held this week at Newtownabbey Community High School heard calls from parents and local community representatives for the new school to be located at Rathcoole Drive, not Monkstown. See the Times (October 31 edition) for full story.