457 schools below Bain levels

The GMB Union has identified 457 primary and secondary schools across all the different sectors that are below the Bain thresholds, full list here (pdf file). In addition to pupil numbers “social, economic and quality of education issues” will be included in the decision-making process to maintain, amalgamate or close.

  • Yokel

    This is going to get bitter. There has to be closures.

  • Bob Wilson

    Some of these enrollments are incredibly small. This has obviously something that has been developing over a long period of time – with no one having the guts to tackle it.
    The question is this. In many rural areas where there are currently 2 (or more) schools i.e. from both sides of the divide and they all face closure will the authorites faciliate merger on one site.
    Or will the Catholic church insist on ‘bussing’ their kids away to maintain segregation?
    Ironic that bussing was used to end segregation in the US….

  • Nevin

    Another Church v State tussle?

  • David


    Would someone please tell the Belfast Telegraph that it is spelt “grammar” not “grammer”….

  • Greenflag

    Brilliant news .At long last NI has found a solution to it’s inherent sectarian problem . Have no children or very few – A stroke of genius -This means fewer and eventually no bigoted adults and will provide plenty of opportunities for Polish and other immigrants.

    BTW -Was this SF or DUP policy or was it both !
    No children – no economy -no economy – no State –

    Maybe the London Times could do a reprintof it’s famed ‘headline’ of 150 yrs ago on the imminent demise of the Gael thanks to the Famine and mass emigration ? The update would of course have to be amended to the imminent ‘demise’ of the “Northern Green and Orange tribes “as they finally tire of their innate sectarian natures and do the rest of Europe and the world a favour ?

  • Alan

    Good to see all of the sectors getting shake in this list. Bob’s point is well made – whoever gets the Education portfolio will have a job banging educational heads together ( so to speak !).

    Some of the Integrated schools do, however, have planned development over a number of years, so the numbers are expected to increase.

  • mcgrath

    Merge the small schools in each town / district. Kick the churches out. Anyone who doesn’t like it can pay to send their child to a church funded school. We will soon see what value the segregationalists place on their children’s religious education when they have to pay directly for it.

  • Bob Wilson

    I do hope the integrated movement drops its fixation with creating new phyiscal schools and adopts a strategy of buying old school premises from the state (RC Church is too canny and rich to sell theirs off – anything to halt integration is their motto)in areas where IF each ‘side’ opted for ONE school it would be viable.
    This could transform education in NI in a decade.

  • Elvis Parker

    ‘whoever gets the Education portfolio will have a job banging educational heads together ‘
    Unfortunately it will likely go to SF or DUP who thrive on division and sectarianism – so any radical ideas like Bob’s suggestion for mergering will get nowhere.
    SF and DUP will ‘bus’ to retain ethnic purity!

  • fair_deal


    A single system is DUP policy

  • willis

    If Sinn Fein can cross the policing rubicon, why cannot the heirarchy cross the integrated schools one?

  • willis

    A post at last! I’m sure this has been answered elsewhere, but what went wrong with the code word?

  • David Ford

    Bob Wilson

    Not fair to state that integrated movement is fixated on new buildings. In every case, they must see if a transformation is possible before a new build is considered.

    That’s why the Minister refused an Antrim College proposal this year, on the basis that an existing school was said to be ‘considering’ transformation (though nothing official has been done).

    At least Bain is forcing a look at the future of education strategically. You are quite correct that rationalisation must be done geographically, not sectorally – something which the last three Education Ministers have conspicuously failed to do.