640 PARENTS WANT TO SEE NEW SCHOOL
ESTHER HAYDEN REPORTS FROM GREYSTONES TOWN COUNCIL
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.