Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Health Stephen Donnelly has called for admissions to the new secondary school for the Greystones/Kilcoole area to be opened urgently.
Donnelly believes that it is critical that these admissions open as soon as possible to avoid students anxiously waiting for a second level place next September.
“At this very moment there are hundreds of children in North Wicklow who don’t know which secondary school they’ll be able to attend next September. Our number one priority must be to ensure that there are enough places to provide a local education for them.
“Offers have just gone out for St David’s and Temple Carrig secondary schools, and while some pupils are celebrating their acceptance, many others have been left languishing on waiting lists.
Donnelly continued to mention that he has received an abundance of communications from concerned parents who fear that their child will have nowhere to attend school in the next academic year.
The Greystones based TD believes the simple solution is to allow early admissions to the new Kilcoole/Greytsones secondary school, which is due to open in September 2020.
“My office has been inundated with worried parents who’re concerned that their children will have nowhere to go next year, or the year after. This is a cruel and totally unnecessary way to treat families. However, there is an easy way to alleviate this stress.
“The Minister for Education could easily allow early admissions for the new secondary school opening in the Greystones/Kilcoole area in September 2020. This simple step would add a huge number of extra secondary school places to our community and provide reassurance for pupils and parents that supply will meet demand,” said Donnelly.
However, Donnelly also emphasised that a patron needs to be selected for the school, as parents require transparency in terms of who exactly will be running this brand new school.
The school’s exact location is also yet to be disclosed as fears of long term temporary accommodation begin to arise.
“Of course, that’s not the only thing the Minister needs to do. He must make sure that a patron is chosen as soon as possible. Parents can’t be expected to choose a school for their child before they know who’ll run it.
“Minister McHugh also has to let us know where the new school will be housed. Right now, he’s warning that ‘interim accommodation’ will be provided while a permanent building is erected on site. We want to know exactly where this accommodation will be and how long it will take before the school moves into its forever home.
“The situation as it stands is very troubling for us all, but remember, the opening date for this new school was brought forward by a full year when we pressured the Department of Education into helping us and I believe we can do that again. As a parent myself, I’ll stand by our community and won’t rest until every child gets the education they’re entitled to”, concluded Donnelly.