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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2006, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Board backs plans to shut schools
Hilden Integrated Primary School
A banner at Hilden Integrated Primary School
An education and library board has rubber-stamped recommendations to close four schools in Northern Ireland.

The South Eastern Education and Library Board also voted on plans for 12 others to either close or amalgamate.

The board wants to close Conlig, Groomsport and Hilden primaries and Lisnasharragh High School because of falling pupil numbers.

The SEELB said there would be consultation before a final decision is made by the Department of Education.

It pulled back on a plan to amalgamate three schools in Newtownards and said there will be a review of school provision in the town.

Earlier, the chairman of Hilden integrated primary, Terry Conway, said they were ready for a fight.

"We are deeply annoyed. We feel that the procedures to make this decision are not in order," he said.

"Parents are very angry at the way it has been delivered to us."

The board said the move was nothing to do with budget cuts and amalgamations could create large schools which would be viable in the future.

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