Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has expressed serious alarm after officials from the Department of Education confirmed to him that there are between 170 to 190 pupils in the Greystones and Kilcoole areas without a Secondary school place in September 2021. The shocking figure has been revealed following engagement between the Department and the principles of the 4 local secondary schools. Deputy Brady has said immediate action needs to be taken to increase the student intake for September and the Department needs to produce a plan for it to happen.
Speaking after receiving the news Deputy Brady said “Over the last number of months I have been working with many families who have a child that has failed to get a school place in one of the 4 local secondary schools in the Greystones and Kilcoole area. It is alarming that the actual figure of children without a school place in September has been confirmed to be by officials from the Department at between 170-190.”
“Whilst this is a shocking figure, given the number of people that have been in contact with me over the last few months it comes as no surprise. It should also be no surprise to the Department who know the current numbers of children in Primary schools in the area and population growth figures. This figure of 170-190 students without a place has come about following a number of meetings that have taken place between the principles of St. David’ Holy Faith Secondary School, Templecarrig School, Greystones Community College and Colaiste Craobh Abhann Kilcoole and Department Officials. The latest taking place on Tuesday 3rd February 2021. The purpose of the meeting was to cross check enrolment lists and waiting lists in all 4 schools for duplicates to ascertain the actual number of pupils that have not received an offer of a school place for September 2021.”
“The meeting was informed that 489 pupils had accepted a school place in the 4 schools and there were a total of 494 pupils remaining on waiting lists. Each Waiting list was then cross checked between enrolments lists and other waiting lists and as result the number of pupils without a school place was reduced to in the region of 170 to 190 pupils.”
Deputy Brady continued “The Department officials have informed me that they are satisfied that accommodation solutions can be put in place to meet these requirements and are currently engaging with each of the school’s patron bodies in relation to increasing their intake for September 2021 and future years. I know that Coláiste Craobh Abhann is past capacity and that there is little or no movement in relation to the long-awaited school extension. This along with the development of the new Greystones Community College need to be fast-tracked, even at that in the short-term this crisis will not be addressed.”
“The Department needs to immediately produce a plan on how the 170-190 required school places are to be provided. The children and the parents also need to be given reassurances and informed where they will be attending school in September without further delay.”