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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 December 2006, 16:42 GMT
Last Shankill secondary to close
Mount Gilbert Community College will close in August
Mount Gilbert Community College will close in August
The last secondary school in the Shankill area of Belfast is to close at the end of this academic year.

Mount Gilbert Community College was created in 1993 as an amalgamation of Forth River and Cairnmartin secondaries.

It had about 500 pupils then, but the number dropped to half that in 2001. Now the numbers have slumped to only 70 and the school has a large deficit.

The Department of Education has now agreed it should close next August.

Earlier this year, Mount Gilbert Community College principal John Crossan said he was admitting defeat in the numbers game.

John Crossan
John Crossan said he was admitting defeat in the numbers game

He said he could not continue to fight against falling numbers and a shrinking budget.

Last year, the school only had 12 new pupils.

The school is run by the Belfast Education and Library Board and members had recommended its closure.

In February, Mr Crossan said he had fought to reduce his 200,000 deficit. Some staff had left the school and he taught classes in order to save money.


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