Over 100 concerned parents gathered in Lurgan Town Hall on Friday evening to hear speakers rally in support of the Dickson Plan.
The meeting was organised by David Baird, who formed the King’s Park Concerned Parents’ Group in response to the SELB’s failure to meet with parents.
Invited speakers included Lurgan College principal Trevor Robinson. Having acknowledged there was no doubt that accommodation issues needed to be addressed at Craigavon Senior High School, Mr Robinson went on to explain how the loss of a grammar school from Lurgan would have a huge impact on the social mobility of children in the area.
Mr Robinson also told the parents that there was no other example of a bilateral school in the 14 to 19 age range anywhere in the world, meaning that the bilateral school proposed by the SELB under Option A was untried and untested.
King’s Park principal Terry Shields said the loss of a separate, autonomous, academically selective grammar school in Lurgan meant more parents choosing to opt out of the bilateral system proposed by the SELB, which in turn would have an impact on the education of primary school age children.
The next speaker was Greer Geddis, commercial director of Avondale Foods. He said: “I believe the loss of the Dickson Plan will see our town decline. No decision could have a bigger impact on our community.”
Nicole Lappin, a parent from Waringstown, invited those present who were concerned about Option A to either join one of the established concerned parents’ groups, or to form their own.
Following the meeting many parents came forward to form a Lurgan Junior High School parents’ group. Anyone interested in joining the campaign should email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com