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Mr D Bradley: ……We know from the chief inspector’s report — which was debated earlier today — that many post-primary schools, particularly in the non-selective sector, are continuing to feel the effects of demographic decline. Enrolment figures have dropped by almost 4,000, and more than one third of schools have fewer than 500 pupils, which is potentially disastrous. Demographic decline is going to worsen over the next few years, which will lead to unplanned outcomes in the form of school closures in some areas. We need to act now before that situation occurs.

Perhaps Mr Bradley MLA  should study the Quarterly Report of the Registrar General before parroting the mantra of the DENI on their outdated rationale for schools estate change. The birth rate in Northern Ireland can be easily followed in the graph below.

THe Rise in the Birth Rate

THe Rise in the Birth Rate

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