Derry Diocesan Administrator calls for shake-up of post-primary educationSunday, June 3rd, 2012
The Diocesan Administrator for the Diocese of Derry Monsignor Eamon Martin has said that the time for action on a radical shake up of Catholic Post-Primary education in Derry City is now.
Earlier this year Monsignor Martin published his plan for changes in the way Catholic Post Primary Education in Derry is administered.
Entitled Together Towards Tomorrow, the initiative plans to end the academic selection, single sex schools and establish the creation of two new sixth-form colleges in Derry city.
Last Month Monsignor Martin extended the deadline for submissions on the plan until June 22. As part of the discussion process, a public meeting, organised by the Derry Grammar Schools' Parents Association was held in the city this week and which was attended by more than 100 people.
Speaking after the event, one of the organisers Gerard Roarty said, “We’re asking the bishops not to hang Derry out to dry. If there is such a strong argument for the abolition of Grammar schools, then it's important to convince all sides of the community and in all areas of Northern Ireland and not just those involved in Catholic Grammar schools in the Derry City area.”
Speaking about the proposed changes, Monsignor Martin said, “Change, although daunting, has been transformational in the past. It's true that many see this as idealistic and far reaching and I understand that change can be unsettling and difficult process for some. However, as the trustees of Catholic education, it is our responsibility to create and share a vision of the future that can accommodate the changing demographics of our time and the quickly changing world around us. As times change so must we. I am not asking for change overnight. I would like grammar schools to show leadership in this area and propose that we introduce this in a staged way over the coming years with periodic review and evaluation.”
Commenting on his discussions with schools to date, Monsignor Martin said he has been greatly encouraged by the high level on interest in his proposals to date.
“When the paper was launched we sent it to all primary and post primary schools and I made myself available to schools and community groups to discuss it in more detail. I was pleased to receive invitations to attend meetings of staff, governors and parents in several schools and many people have also engaged in conversation with me about the paper. I welcome all comment and feedback on the proposals.”
by Sean Ryan