Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Ulster Unionists reject plan to close Lurgan Campus of Craigavon Senior High [December 2022]

The press release issued by the Ulster Unionists on 20 December 2022.

Ulster Unionist representatives in the Lurgan area have voiced strong opposition to the decision taken by the Education Department’s Permanent Secretary to close the Lurgan Campus of Craigavon Senior High School in spite of a long running and well supported campaign to keep it open.

Ulster Unionist Party Leader and Upper Bann MLA Doug Beattie MC said:

“Over a protracted period the Lurgan community has fought to find a solution to the threatened closure of the Lurgan Campus of the Craigavon Senior High School, that kept the children in Lurgan and maintained a clear educational pathway.  Unfortunately, against the wishes of the community, academics, local councillors and the Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council’s own Community Plan, the Permanent Secretary for the Department of Education has decided that he would rather bus the children from Lurgan to Portadown than find a Lurgan solution.

“This will be a bitter blow to some of the most educationally vulnerable in Lurgan and shows a real lack of vision on the part of the Education Department. This is compounded by the very fact that when we did have an Executive, a Minster for Education refused to make a decision on this development proposal although pressed on it multiple times.

“The reality is that the children of Lurgan have been failed over many years by the Education authority and when there was an opportunity to put education first, they decided to take the route of least resistance ignoring all other options.

Lurgan Ulster Unionist Councillor Louise McKinstry said:

“I am shocked and saddened at this decision. Successive education ministers have failed the children of Lurgan in the controlled sector by not making a decision earlier when they had many opportunities to do so, and they cannot run for cover now.

“A consultation run by the Education Authority saw the proposed closure of the Lurgan Campus overwhelmingly rejected and yet we are now expected to accept the decision of an unelected civil servant to close the educational pathway for non-selected controlled pupils in a town the size of Lurgan. This is not acceptable and the children of Lurgan deserve better than this.”