Danny Alvey calls for new school in Newtownmountkennedy

Social Democrats election candidate for Wicklow, Danny Alvey, is calling on the Department of Education to examine the possibility of building a new secondary school for East Wicklow in Newtownmountkennedy.

Many students from the local primary schools attend secondary education at Coláiste Chraobh Abhann in Kilcoole, despite the fact that land had been zoned off in 2002 for the purpose of community and education purposes in Newtownmountkennedy.

However, the Department of Education have yet to make any movement on providing the new school for the local area.

Mr. Alvey said “Towns and villages all across Wicklow are expanding rapidly due to house building but this Government is just not providing the necessary amenities and social services that are needed to match this growth,” said Danny Alvey, who is a native of Wicklow Town, now living in Newtown. “Most children here attend secondary school in the next closest town, Kilcoole, or nearby Greystones or Wicklow Town. However population growth has far outstripped the provision of secondary school places and this year places are under severe pressure for next September.

“Hundreds of new homes are being built in Newtown, Roundwood and Ashford, not to mention Wicklow Town and Greystones, but there is no plan as to where the children of these families will attend secondary school,” continued Alvey.

“Working with Jennifer Whitmore TD, we’ve written to the Department of Education to ask them for an update on secondary school places in east Wicklow and plans to build a new secondary school to cope with the increased demand that is coming down the line. Between the 2016 and 2022 census, the population of Newtown alone grew by 25% from 2,835 to 3,539. With at least 400 new houses being built in the town between now and the next census, this number is going to increase considerably again. Newtown is already the 7th biggest town in all of county Wicklow but the only one in the top 10 towns by population size that does not have its own secondary school.

“I’ve been calling door to door over the past few months speaking with residents about the issues that matter most to them and a new secondary school and trying to get secondary school places is one of the issues most raised. A new school in Newtown could provide places for children from Newtown, Roundwood and Ashford and take pressure off the schools in Kilcoole, Greystones and Wicklow Town.

“If elected as a Councillor this June, I will keep the pressure on the Department of Education to deliver a new secondary school for Newtown,” concluded Alvey. “I have two young children myself and I know how much unnecessary pressure finding school places is having on parents in this district.”

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