Social Democrat TD for Wicklow Jennifer Whitmore has called on the Department of Education to fast-track secondary school buildings for Greystones and Kilcoole urgently.
Deputy Whitmore was speaking following a meeting with the Department regarding the expected shortfall in school places for September 2024. Deputy Whitmore has been raising this issue of secondary school place shortages with the Department of Education since early October in response to learning that there is a shortfall of nearly 100 school places expected this coming September.
Deputy Whitmore said: “While I welcome commitments from the Department of Education that every school child will be offered a place and that they are working with the schools to identify potential capacity within existing school buildings, this will only amount to a very short-term solution.
“What we need to see now is that three promised school builds for the area are completed as soon as possible. These include a new permanent building for Greystones Community College and school extensions for Temple Carraig and Colaiste Chraobh Abhann. These need to be delivered urgently to prevent this situation from arising again.
“There is a glaring need for more school places in the Greystones and Kilcoole area. This has been the case for several years and has been made obvious since October this year when we learned there would be a shortage of nearly one hundred school places for the next academic year.
“Following a meeting with the Department of Education this week, I am calling on them again to fast-track school buildings for Greystones and Kilcoole.
Whitmore went on to say: “The Department of Education is currently analysing the school application and enrolment data provided by the different schools in the area. They are also looking at the capacity of the schools in the area to see if they can take more students in 2024.
“I know that the uncertainly over the Christmas period will make for a difficult period for parents and students. I was advised that this analysis will be complete in January, and we will have an update then. I am going to stay on this issue, and I have requested a follow-up meeting with the Department of Education in January, where I will again press the need for a long-term solution and fast-tracking of school builds in the area.”