Urgent need for Department to confirm location for Educate Together Secondary School

Urgent need for Department to confirm location for Educate Together Secondary School

CllrDonnchadhÓLaoghaire
Cllr Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, Cork.

Sinn Féin’s Cllr Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has described as “alarming”, reports that efforts to develop a new Educate Together Secondary school on the Southside, is being hampered by a lack of a location.

It was reported today (26th) that efforts on the part of Educate Together, and the Local Parents Group, to plan for a new ET Secondary School in Cork, has been seriously delayed because the Department has yet to identify a location.

Councillor Ó Laoghaire said:  “Educate Together had intended to open in September 2016, and to begin enrolment next September. However, today we hear that this is being held back considerably, because the Department has failed to identify a site, even a temporary site.

“Educate Together has grown in recent years on the Southside, with schools in Carrigaline, Rochestown as well as Grattan St in the City Centre, and much of this was due to committed support from parents as well as teachers and communities in its earlier years of development. However, there is currently no second level outlet of this ethos for children who have been through ET Education.

“It has been announced that such a secondary school was to be located somewhere in the Southern Suburbs, and to open in September 2016. This is of course, also comes in the context of a growing population and pressure for secondary school places on the southside of Cork generally.

“It is reported in today’s Irish Times, that it will now have to defer advertising for school principals, and Educate Together have stated it fears having to offer places in October to prospective 2016 pupils in schools “which are, at the moment, pie-in-the-sky.”

“According to Niall Wall, Educate Together school manager for the Stepaside, Cork and north Wicklow schools, “It doesn’t engender confidence for parents in the system. Parents need certainty when it comes to the children’s education.

“This is an unfair situation for those involved in planning the school, and for parents interested in having their children educated at this school. The Department needs to give Educate Together certainty as soon as is possible, and I urge the Minister to ensure that this essential school is not impeded in sticking to its timeline. The southside needs school places. The bureaucracy and delays need to be overcome.”