There is one thing that is certain -- our educational landscape is changing.

But it is clear from looking at the histories of the schools that are currently providing education for our children today, that it was ever thus.

The pupils and teachers of St Macartan’s Primary School, Dullaghan, near Lack, are preparing for the closure of the school, as it celebrates its 50th year.

And an examination of that school’s history has shown that it was formed as a result of the amalgamation of two other primary schools. It demonstrates to us that although this seems like a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty within the schools’ estate in Fermanagh, that change has always been a factor when it comes to schooling our children.

This is a school that has been an extended family to pupils and teachers. But with just 15 pupils on its roll books, it will close its doors for the last time at the end of June.

One teacher has been working at the school for almost 30 years. It is the only school where she has ever worked. Her father has been educated in one of the schools that amalgamated to make St. Macartan’s and a cousin of his had donated a field to allow the school to be built.

When the school opened it served both the local Catholic and Protestant communities. It was integrated “before integration had even become fashionable,” she noted.

There is, of course, a great sense of sadness at the closure of a school that has meant so much to so many people.

Conversely, on the other side of the county, another primary school celebrated an extension of their premises when a building project joined the older National School building to the more recent school premises.

Fivemiletown Primary School now has additional classrooms as well as improved toilet facilities, additional storage, resource areas and a library.

The school building links the past with the present and now equips the school to move forward into the future. It too has a proud history with Hugh Montgomery of Blessingbourne establishing a village school back in 1834. The National School building dates from 1880.

This tale of two schools demonstrates how losses, gains or maintenance of populations in any area can spell the end of a school or provides some level of hope it will remain open in the future.

But we can’t for a second believe this is a recent phenomenon.