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Last Updated: Monday, 23 October 2006, 08:57 GMT 09:57 UK
Catholic school cuts are examined
The CCMS is examining the number of its schools to be kept open
The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools is examining how many of its schools will have to close as part of a review into future education provision.

The move comes in the face of falling school rolls in Northern Ireland.

The Irish News has reported that the overhaul could see up to 50 primary schools close or be amalgamated.

However, Donal Flanagan, of the CCMS, said there has never been any mention of the number of schools that could close.

Mr Flanagan said the government had asked the CCMS and other education providers to determine what size of schools they will need in the future and where those schools will be.

"What we're actually doing within CCMS is developing a strategy that will allow us to determine where those schools will be what size they will be and how many we will want.

"Clearly, in a case where there is major infrastructure investment there will always be a sense of rationalisation and school closure and that is to deal with the realities of life," Mr Flanagan said.

However, Frank Bunting of the Irish National Teachers Organisation, criticised what he said was a lack of co-operation on the issue.

"In all of the experiences that I've had recently there hasn't been any such sharing - we have the CCMS not speaking to the education and library boards and vice versa," Mr Flanagan said.

Sir George Bain is leading an independent review into the schools estate in Northern Ireland.

He is likely to report later this year, not only on the issue of falling numbers but also on how schools can co-operate better to address that.

Conor MacAuley reports on the school cuts

NI education reform 'must happen'
23 May 06 |  Northern Ireland
'Year zero' move for NI funding
31 Jan 06 |  Northern Ireland
NI teacher training places cut
13 Apr 06 |  Northern Ireland

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