Meeting over Ulidia plans

Ulidia Integrated College.  INCT 05-062-tc
Ulidia Integrated College. INCT 05-062-tc

Representatives from three of Carrick’s post-primary schools have met with councillors over plans to expand the town’s integrated education sector.

The principals of Downshire School, Carrick College and Carrick Grammar were requesting Carrickfergus Borough Council’s support in objecting to a development proposal from Ulidia Integrated College.

Ulidia is currently seeking a gradual expansion of its enrolment number from 500 to 660 over five years - a plan which has been met with criticism from the controlled sector in the borough.

The meeting, which took place on December 11, was attended by councillors Noel Williams, Fred Cobain, Gavin Norris, Billy Ashe, Charlie Johnston and Andrew Wilson.

Speaking to the Times last week, Cllr Williams indicated that opinion was divided at the meeting as to whether to support the proposal. “Myself, councillors Norris and Cobain spoke in favour of integrated education,” he said.

“Parents are choosing to send their children to Ulidia; every year it is oversubscribed as is the grammar. A decision will be made at the full council meeting in January.”

During last month’s meeting of the Chief Executive’s office, Alderman Jim Brown said a “level playing field” was required as regards educational provision in the town, ensuring resources are protected, institutions are not promoted and that a pupil’s education remains the key factor.