Published Friday, 17 August 2012
The department will be fully closed by August next year. (© Getty)
The Preparatory Department is a non-denominational fee paying school for pupils aged 4-11 years based at the Dalriada School.
Education Minister John O'Dowd confirmed on Friday that he has approved the phased closure of the department.
Enrolments at the school have declined and at the end of the last academic year there were 43 pupils enrolled, 22 of which were in Primary Seven.
In light of the significant decline in enrolments, the Board of Governors decided to bring forward a proposal to close the school.
Commenting on the decision, Mr O'Dowd said: "I wish all the pupils well for the future, and hope those transferring settle in quickly to their new schools in September.
"There are alternative schools in the area which have sufficient capacity to offer places to the transferring pupils and I am confident that all those involved, including parents and school staff, will ensure a smooth transition for the children.
"I would like to pay tribute to all those connected with Dalriada School Preparatory Department who, over many years, have shown their commitment and dedication to the school and its pupils."
The school will cease classes from reception to Year 5 inclusive from 31 August, with full closure of the school by 31 August 2014.