EDUCATION is certainly a family affair for one Dromore clan, who have managed what is thought to be a unique achievement in the recent history, at least, of Dromore Central Primary School.

Proud grandparents Billy and Doreen Knox of Glen Brae in the town, recently realised that not only were seven of their eight grandchildren attending Dromore Central, but between them the youngsters ensured the Knox name was to be heard at roll-call in each and every one of the school's seven year groups.

That's one grandchild - brother, sister or cousin to each of the others - on every step of the primary school ladder, from P1 to P7.

Born to one or the other of Billy and Doreen's three sons - Bill, twins Tom and David - and their wives, the children were themselves excited by the unusual distribution.

Bill and Caroline Knox (whose youngest child, Jasmine, is the only one of the extended family yet to attend school) account for two of the pupils, Troy and Tyler; David and his wife Ashlee, for another two, Carla and Kelsea; Tom and his wife Karen for the remaining three, Jesse, Korey and Teo.

The youngest of the school-goers, Teo, is in Primary One; Teo's cousin Tyler is in Primary Two; Teo's brother Korey is in Primary Three; their cousin Carla is in Primary Four; Teo and Korey's brother Jesse is in Primary Five; Tyler's brother Troy is in Primary Six and Carla's sister Kelsea is in Primary Seven.

Said grandmother Doreen, "I'm really delighted; I think it's great, and all the children are very excited about it.

"I do like children and I do enjoy them."

Indeed Doreen used to work at the Rainbow Playgroup, where, in another twist to the tale, her young charges included the children of one Mr. Jim Cochrane, principal of Dromore Central Primary School.

Mr. Cochrane said of the Knox family phenomenon, "To the best of my knowledge this is the first time this has happened; I've not known it to happen before.

"Certainly many times we've had a number of children from the same family at the school, but I don't think we've seen grandparents with one grandchild in every year group before."

The Knox family should continue to be well represented at Dromore Central for a while yet and though Kelsea and Troy will both have moved to a new school by the time Jasmine is ready for P1, her arrival would mean there would still be a Knox child in six of the seven year groups.