SINN Féin MLA Caitriona Ruane has said that the debate last night in the Assembly on the amalgamation of St Columban’s and St Louis schools in Kilkeel shows public support in favour for the merger.
Ms. Ruane said: “The debate in the Assembly last night to discuss the issue of the future of secondary schooling in the Kilkeel area was an important step in creating a first class education facility for the children of Kilkeel.
“We must look to the future when we look at education and the figures outline a lack of pupils to maintain three post primary schools in the area.
“Kilkeel High School has already shown the way forward by being an all ability school and that leaves the future of catholic post primary education to be decided.
“There is a big banner outside St Columban’s that says “Amalgamate, don’t discriminate and this highlights the fact that this is also an issue of equality.
“The proposed merger between St Columbans and St Louis I believe is the best way forward and amalgamation will allow us to push for a new school fit for the twenty first century.
“This is about providing academic excellence above academic selection and the best way to do that is for the two schools should amalgamate.
“I particularly want to thank the parents, staff and pupils who travelled to Stormont for the debate and recognise the fact that due to the Welfare Reform debate it was very late before the debate began yet they remained there to show their support for the amalgamation of the two schools,” added Ms Ruane.