Northern Ireland - 54-pupil secondary to close

12th June 2009 at 01:00

A secondary school in north Belfast will close at the end of the school year because of falling pupil numbers.

Castle High School has the capacity for 550 pupils, but has only 54 pupils enrolled at the moment. Only six pupils were admitted in September. The governing body recommended closure to the Department of Education the same month.

Caitriona Ruane, the education minister, said: "I consider that the needs of the pupils will be better met in a bigger school, where they will have opportunities to enhance their educational and social learning experiences.

"I wish to thank the teachers and parents for the work they have done for the pupils of Castle High School over the years in difficult and challenging circumstances, and wish the pupils all the best in their new school."

Castle High will close on August 31.

The pupil population is falling across Northern Ireland and many secondary schools are experiencing reduced numbers on roll. mr.

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