Bray People - - NEWS FOCUS -

PAR­ENTS SHOULD HAVE choice when it comes to their chil­dren's ed­u­ca­tion ac­cord­ing to mem­bers of the North Wick­low Ed­u­cate To­gether 2nd Level Ac­tion Group.

Dur­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion to mem­bers of Grey­stones Town Coun­cil last week the mem­bers heard from Jessica Bird, chair­per­son of the com­mit­tee, who said that the group rep­re­sented around ‘640 par­ents who would like a new school in Grey­stones'. She said at the mo­ment par­ents in Grey­stones could choose to send their child to St. David's, the lo­cal Catholic school, or East Glen­dalough which was the Protes­tant school.

She said 62 per cent of chil­dren in Grey­stones were now re­ceiv­ing their sec­ond level ed­u­ca­tion out­side the town. She said by 2014 297 stu­dents in Grey­stones would be look­ing for sec­ond-level places. If St. David's en­rol­ment pol­icy stayed at its cur­rent level of 120 while a few stu­dents went to East Glen­dalough that left about 150 stu­dents in the town look­ing for a sec­ond level place.

She said these stu­dents would be ‘forced' to leave the town. ‘Schools in South Dublin and Kil­coole will reach sat­u­ra­tion point,' she said and said that the com­mu­nity as­pect of ed­u­ca­tion was very im­por­tant. ‘I love Grey­stones and think it is a great place to live. Stu­dents who at­tend or at­tended St. David's are very proud to have been ed­u­cated in the town.' She said the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion had pur­chased land for a new sec­ond level school in Black­lion ‘ and they will de­cide the pa­tron­age. We want a vi­able al­ter­na­tive to what's there,' she said.

Amy Mul­vi­hill of Ed­u­cate To­gether said Ed­u­cate To­gether was about ‘pro­vid­ing choice in ed­u­ca­tion for par­ents. We have ap­plied to open a school in Grey­stones. This is not about pa­tron­age, it is about choice’.

Ann Ryan of Ed­u­cate To­gether said Ed­u­cate To­gether was ‘a learner-cen­tred school'. She said they were multi-de­nom­i­na­tional schools ‘not just at en­rol­ment' but through­out stu­dents' ed­u­ca­tion.

She added that Ed­u­cate To­gether schools were demo­crat­i­cally run.

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