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Axeing 'grannying' could squeeze Inishowen schools 19.02.08

INISHOWEN schools could be pushed beyond capacity with an influx of new students if 'grannying' is stamped out in Derry.
Moville-based Senator and Seanad education spokesperson Cecilia Keaveney said the authorities needed to be aware of the problem brewing in border areas.
"Many students currently in the system in Derry, should schools adhere to stricter admission criteria, could be compelled to attend schools in Donegal," said Senator Keaveney.
"The reality could present itself that Donegal schools like Bridgend, Muff, Carrigans, Newtown and Tooban might be a fast developing school as they gain a very sudden injection of numbers. It is important that these schools are maintained to a level that ensures that they can facilitate such a change should it take place."
Grannying is where Derry people who moved across the border to live in Donegal continue to send their children to Derry schools using the children's grandparents' address.
Senator Keaveney said the peninsula's four secondary schools could also be hit. "The second level schools of Crana College, Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana, Carndonagh Community School, or Moville Community College, cannot be ignored as a potential location for an influx of unexpected students.
"The Department should be aware of the current status of the "grannied student cohort". They are real people. Should criteria change before September in how Derry schools approach the issue it could be a fast change in direction for us all to adapt to and many of these schools have outstanding issues that would have to be dealt with even for their present cohort."
Senator Keaveney warned that to deal exclusively with any one priority list to the exclusion of all others, was "not good forward planning".
"The Department officials did confirm that they have had discussions with the Department of Education in the North on the matter. The fact that they are aware is an important first point.
"The fact that they did state too that works to maintain schools would also continue is important in the context of a number of the schools I mentioned. However, the Government commitment to the improvement of facilities is seen in the new schools sanctioned for Moville and Clonmany."
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