The Education Authority (EA) has set a date for Balloughry Primary School in Northern Ireland, which serves some Donegal students, to close in August 2023. Students might instead attend primary schools in Derry city, where they would have better educational and extracurricular options. According to the EA, the school has only 44 students and three teachers, well below the 105 students required by the Department of Education for a rural primary school. However, a consultation must be held before making such a decision like in the Ballougry Primary School’s case, which is over 150 years old. Moreover, it has a shared education agreement with two other Irish schools.

The EA is in charge of defining Northern Ireland’s educational future. This could involve expanding a school by adding more classrooms or closing a school that is no longer sustainable. Meabh Owens’ daughter is a student at the school where she herself attended as a student. A news report says she intends to oppose the plan. Owens said: “As parents, we want the best for our children. Having an integrated education in 2022 is really important.” A future education minister will decide whether to keep or close the school. A final decision is expected in January 2023.