Spokesperson Courtney Robinson said:
“Avoniel Primary School has been at the heart of this working class community for 80 years and its closure would be a huge blow to the people of the area. Many children will be forced to travel much further to school, which will have a knock-on impact on working parents. The school is in a healthy position in terms of intake and finances. John O’Dowd must reverse this decision.”
“Across Northern Ireland, around 500 schools are threatened with closure or merger due to the cuts which were voted through by all parties in the Assembly Executive. This will lead to larger class sizes and a poorer standard of education for our young people. The main parties would rather give tax breaks and handouts to big business than fund children’s future.”
“Parents and staff at Avoniel – with the support of the GMB trade union – are to be congratulated for refusing to take this lying down, taking their opposition onto the streets and to the steps of Stormont yesterday. It’s shocking that no local MLAs came out to meet the campaigners, including Robin Newton who sits on the Education Committee!”
“Experience shows that community protest can force the politicians back, as was the case with Malvern Primary School on the Shankill, for example. We need to build a united campaign linking the resistance against all school closures across Northern Ireland involving parents, staff, trade unions and the wider community to demand a decent education for young people.”.