‘Oversubscribed’ school gets 40 additional places

Hazelwood Integrated College will increase its intake.
Hazelwood Integrated College will increase its intake.

An integrated post-primary school in Newtownabbey has welcomed a Department of Education announcement that it is to get additional places for new pupils.

Hazelwood Integrated College will increase its 2019 intake by 40 students.

In a statement, the Whitewell Road school said it was delighted to be able to facilitate the demand for places with the additional allocation for September. The college added it has been consistently oversubscribed for the past number of years and will be looking at its resources over the coming months in order to meet this increasing demand.

Principal Máire Thompson said: “We’re very excited with the allocation of these additional places for 2019 and we are delighted to contribute to the sustained growth of integrated education in north Belfast.”

Announcing 20 post-primary schools across Northern Ireland are to get extra places, a departmental spokesperson said: “There has been continued growth in the size of the cohort transferring to post-primary education in recent years. In 2019 it is estimated that the number of children transferring will be well over 2,500 higher than the number that transferred four years ago. This puts additional pressure on places in certain areas.

“Every year additional places are provided at schools in areas where pressure proves to be greatest. This year, however, the Department has moved to provide some additional places in advance of the procedure commencing.

“This proactive move is intended to ensure the transfer procedure can successfully conclude while minimising the number of children who are unplaced at the end of the procedure.”