FORT Hill Primary School could soon be Lisburn's newest
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
"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