Parents given prompting

Trevor Robinson.
Trevor Robinson.

Lurgan College have given parents a helping hand by advising them how to fill in an SELB questionnaire on the future of education in the Dickson Plan area.

The SELB sent out information leaflets to schools last week outlining its rationale for restructuring the Dickson Plan. They also included a questionnaire for parents to complete. It was then left to the schools to distribute the documentation to parents.

Lurgan College have taken the step of including an addendum with the forwarded correspondence to outline how they think parents should answer the questionnaire.

The ‘MAIL’ was provided with copies of the accompanying letter sent out by Lurgan College to parents on Friday. Copies of these have also been sent to the concerned parents’ groups and the principals of all feeder primary schools.

In the letter, College principal Trevor Robinson wrote: “It is vitally important that parents take this opportunity to voice their opinion on the SELB’s proposals for changes to the Dickson Plan.

“I have included, for your convenience, a suggested response to the questionnaire which reflects the College’s position and the best interests of the Dickson Plan as a model for providing the best possible educational experience and outcomes for all young people.”

He added: “Many of the assertions made in the consultation leaflet, provided by the SELB, are inaccurate and misleading.”

Mr Robinson went on to say Option A would lead to the destruction of the Dickson Plan, the comprehensivation of all post 14 schools and the removal of selective grammar school education from the area. He said the plan to demolish the Dickson Plan was “the outworkings of a political and ideological agenda to impose comprehensive models of education across Northern Ireland”.

The College questioned what measures, if any, the SELB has taken to address the alleged projected deficit at Craigavon Senior High.

In terms of viable alternative proposals Mr Robinson suggested: “Either the retention of the status quo (with new builds for the Colleges and CSHS) or Option B (involving the creation of a single site CSHS) which the board has described as both educationally and economically viable.”