Paul Givan, the new Minister for Education, will have some difficult decisions ahead of him as it has been announced that a third Fermanagh primary school has been earmarked for closure this year.

St. John the Baptist Primary School, Roscor, Belleek has been earmarked for closure as part of a Case for Change proposal submitted to the Education Authority (EA).

The proposal has been submitted to the EA by the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) and St. Michael's Educational Trust who are the trustees of the school.

The Development Proposal for the school was published this week in local media and will cause concern among the close-knit community of St. John the Baptist P.S., Roscor.

A statutory objection period will now open for two months.

The news comes as a farming pressure group has called for a meeting with new Education Minister, Paul Givan to hear the case for preventing the closure of rural schools.

The Rural Schools Group, an open-door organisation pulled together by Farmers for Action in Northern Ireland was formed earlier this year to halt the decline and closure of rural schools.

A spokesperson for Farmers for Action stated: “Stormont now up and running gives the group new momentum to challenge the onslaught of the Education Authority (EA) to close many rural schools.

"Farmers for Action have already gone ahead and requested a meeting with the new Minister for Education, who it would seem will have cross-party support to make the right decision for rural schools across Northern Ireland.”

Already two schools in the local area have been issued Development Proposals for closure in recent months - Lack Primary School and Queen Elizabeth II Primary School, Kilskeery.

Both schools were issued a Developmental Proposal for closure in September 2023.

Both schools fall below the minimum threshold of 105 pupils for a rural primary school. Lack P.S. has 22 pupils and Queen Elizabeth II has 38 pupils.

According to the Case for Change document for both schools following a statutory objection period, the Development Proposals were waiting for a Ministerial or Department of Education decision in February 2024.

If approved, the Development Proposal for Lack P.S. and Queen Elizabeth II P.S. would take effect from August 31, 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter.