Belmont ball in WELB court: O’Dowd

Staff from Belmont House who have over 25 years service taking part in the school's 50th anniversary celebrations. They are, from left, Lorraine O'Neill, Jim McDaid, Imelda Mallon, vice principal, Janet Peace, Nuala Begley, principal, Denise Jack, Jane Bryce, vice principal, Joan McDaid and Collette Nelis. INLS2111-181(S)
Staff from Belmont House who have over 25 years service taking part in the school's 50th anniversary celebrations. They are, from left, Lorraine O'Neill, Jim McDaid, Imelda Mallon, vice principal, Janet Peace, Nuala Begley, principal, Denise Jack, Jane Bryce, vice principal, Joan McDaid and Collette Nelis. INLS2111-181(S)

EDUCATION Minister John O’Dowd says that until a development proposal for the merger of Belmont House and Foyleview is published it’s solely a matter for the Western Education and Library Board (WELB).

A spokesperson for WELB recently told the Sentinel: “The Board is taking forward a Development Proposal for the merger of Belmont House and Foyle View School.

“The WELB believes that this proposal will provide for the education of pupils on the full spectrum of special educational needs for the Derry City and surrounding area.”

However, the Belmont House Save Our School Committee has launched an online petition against the move.

They are worried about the merger between the Belmont School, which caters for children with moderate learning difficulties and Foyleview, which caters for more acute needs.

Foyle MLA Mark H. Durkan asked the Minister about the move at Stormont. Mr O’Dowd replied: “At the present time the Board is following the statutory process leading to the publication of a Development Proposal to support this intent. However, until a Development Proposal is published, the issues concerned are entirely a matter for the WELB to consider.”