NI Education Minister approves Irish language school with just 15 pupils – while 2,500 teaching staff face the axe

The Belfast Telegraph is reporting that Northern Ireland’s Education Minister John O’Dowd has come under fire for approving a new Irish school with just 15 pupils as 2,500 teachers and support staff face losing their jobs…

The Sinn Fein man has been told he must make cuts of £198m to his budget.

His director of finance Trevor Connolly earlier this month described the situation as “extremely bleak”, and department advisers urged him not to approve the establishment of the new school, but the minister has stood over his decision.

Coláiste Dhoire, proposed to be located in Owenbeg on the outskirts of Dungiven, Co Londonderry, will be only the second State-funded Irish-medium secondary school in Northern Ireland, following Coláiste Feirste in Belfast. UUP MLA Danny Kinahan has questioned the decision. “In the middle of a budget crisis, Education Minister John O’Dowd has made a decision to approve the establishment of a new Irish language secondary school,” he said.

“He has done so contrary to the professional guidance of his departmental officials and a host of educational experts.”

The advice on the development proposal to establish Coláiste Dhoire recommended the minister should not approve the new school…

More at: Education Minister John O’Dowd approves Irish language school with just 15 pupils – while 2,500 teaching staff face the axe

 

Any local insights into this decision from John O’Dowd? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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