Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Integrated status on the cards for Fort Hill Primary
FORT Hill Primary School

FORT Hill Primary School could soon be Lisburn's newest integrated school.

This week parents are being ballotted on whether they would like the school to transform to integrated status, just as Fort Hill College did ten years ago.

School Principal John Walsh said the transformation had been in the mind of the Board of Governors since the College changed its status and had been carefully considered for the last four years.

"Fort Hill Primary School has taken time since 2004 to consider the 'way forward' for the school and what would be in the best interests of our children and the local community which we serve.

"Following on from a series of meetings held this school year with the parents, local community groups and local politicians, the Governors decided to move

forward and hold a ballot to allow parents to vote on the issue of transformation to integrated status."

The ballot will take place over the next three weeks and will close on May 12.

The Electoral Reform Society will then report the results to the Governors and if the majority of parents are in favour of transforming the status of the school, Fort Hill Primary could become Fort Hill Integrated in September 2009.

"The Board of Governors see this as an opportunity to progress the school for future generations and would certainly not wish to do anything which may be seen as detrimental to the school's ethos or our pupils education," continued Mr Walsh.

"I am now moving into my 23rd year of teaching at Fort Hill Primary School and am also the longest serving principal in the school's history. Regardless of the outcome of the ballot I will continue to give dedicated service to the future success of the school and its pupils."

Michael Wardlow, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education, said: "We are aware that Fort Hill PS has expressed an interest in transforming to integrated status and that a parental ballot to vote for or against their school transforming will take place this week.

"Fort Hill Primary School shares a site with Fort Hill Integrated College which transformed 10 years ago and it has continued to send many of its pupils to the college over the years."

Ulster Star