Social Democrat TD for Wicklow Jennifer Whitmore has raised concerns about a lack of school places for students in Greystones for the September 2024 intake.
This comes after the recent first round of secondary school places going out to students and many disappointed families contacting Deputy Whitmore having not received a place. Deputy Whitmore has been raising this issue of secondary school place shortages with the Department of Education for weeks and is disappointed in their lack of urgency in response.
Deputy Whitmore said: “I have been hearing from parents in Greystones nonstop over the weekend regarding school places. Since offers were sent out, many students did not get an offer and are now on waiting lists for a secondary school place. Parents are very concentrated and I know how worrying this is for them and the students. A lack of action from the Department regarding the shortfall of school places has not helped.
“The first round of offers is always wrought with worry as some parents get no offers, while others get multiple. Once families begin to accept or decline spaces, a clearer picture will hopefully emerge. The schools will then sit down with each other and work through the lists to see if they can identify overlaps.
“However, there will still be a shortfall in the number of places available. The 3 schools serving Greystones highlighted this as an issue recently, and I have raised it multiple times with the Department of Education and the Minister in the hope that they would work proactively to address this issue. This has not been the case. The Department of Education need to treat this situation with urgency.
“The Department must also acknowledge that we need a long-term solution for families in Greystones. Otherwise, this current shortage will cause stress and upset annually. There are also still outstanding issues facing schools like Temple Carraig, which requires a building extension and GCC, which is still waiting for a new building. The supply of sufficient school places in the area has been an issue for years, and one I have worked on since being elected as a TD.
Deputy Whitmore went on to say: “This is unacceptable, and the fact is that it could have been avoided if the Department of Education had listened to local concerns before now. As Wicklow’s population grows, the Department should be providing more places, not less. We cannot have a situation where we have fewer school places than students for the 2024/2025 school year. I will keep raising this issue for parents in Greystones and across the county.”