No new places for two 'oversubscribed' Derry schools, says Education Minister

St Cecilia's College, Derry
-Credit: (Image: Google StreetView)

Education Minister Paul Givan has ruled out an increase in places at two "oversubscribed" Derry schools.

Mr Givan said there would be no increase in places at St Cecilia's College or St Brigid's College, after he was asked about the two schools by Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan.

The Minister said there is already "sufficient capacity" within the sector for both boys and girls.

Read more: Derry mum describes how 'cystic fibrosis doesn't get a day off' as infant daughter faces 'relentless' treatment burden

Read more: House price rise: How far does your money go in NI's cheapest and most expensive areas?

Mr Durkan, in a written question to the minister, had asked "whether his Department will increase the number of places at oversubscribed post-primary schools, with specific reference to (i) St. Cecelia’s College, Derry; and (ii) St. Brigid’s College, Derry."

Mr Givan replied: "My Department allocates additional places to schools where oversubscription arises during the competitive admissions process in order to ensure children can access a school place in their area and in their parents’ preferred sector.

"For the purposes of school admissions my Department recognises four school sectors, namely denominational; non-denominational; Integrated and Irish-medium. No child can be guaranteed admission to a particular school."

He continued: "To date my Department has approved almost 700 additional places at Year 8 for September 2024 admission across Northern Ireland and will continue to allocate places where the need arises."

He added: "As sufficient capacity exists in the denominational sector in the Foyle constituency for both boys and girls there are currently no plans to increase capacity at either St Cecilia’s College or St Brigid’s College."

For all the latest news, visit the Belfast Live homepage here and sign up to our daily newsletter here.