Huge demand for Catholic education in south Belfast

Huge demand for Catholic education in south Belfast

There is an “urgent” need for extra Catholic school places in south Belfast to cater for demand, according to a report.

The research commissioned by the Integrated Education Fund (IEF) found that six of the 14 primary schools in the Castlereagh/Carryduff area are at, or almost at, capacity. This includes three Catholic and three integrated schools.

In the Parish of Drumbo and Carryduff 80 children over a three-year period have missed out on P1 places at two schools. St Bernard’s in south Belfast turned away almost 50 children in the same period.

As St Joseph’s school in Carryduff couldn’t meet the demand for Catholic education in the area, the report recommends an extension to the school building. One of Northern Ireland’s newest schools, St Ita’s in south Belfast, was opened in 2005 to cater for the influx of demand in the area.

The report also found that the “ethos” of a school was frequently mentioned by parents when asked how they decided which school would be the first preference for their child.