PLACES IN NEW SCHOOL WILL BE HELD FOR DUBLIN STU­DENTS

NORTH WICK­LOW ED­U­CATE TO­GETHER ‘WILL BE NORTH WICK­LOW IN NAME ONLY’

Bray People - - FRONT PAGE - MARY FOG­A­RTY

TEENAGERS from a large part of North County Wick­low will not be in the catch­ment area for the new North Wick­low Educ­tate To­gether sec­ondary school in Bray - as places are re­served in­stead for oth­ers from south County Dublin.

This is ac­cord­ing to a re­port by the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion re­lat­ing to the 1,000 pupil school which will open in two years.

The new sec­ond-level fa­cil­ity is to open in 2016 with a catch­ment area of Bray, Shankill, Bally­brack and Kil­ter­nan.

Some places will be of­fered to pupils from the Grey­stones area, how­ever par­ents who cam­paigned for the Ed­u­cate To­gether fa­cil­ity want their chil­dren to be given places au­to­mat­i­cally.

A County Wick­low-driven cam­paign for an Ed­u­cate To­gether school be­gan back in 2010. The Church of Ire­land was awarded pa­tron­age of a sec­ondary school to open this year in Grey­stones.

‘WE DO not ac­cept the de­ci­sion by the Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion to favour South Dublin feeder ar­eas over Wick­low ones in the catch­ment of the new North Wick­low Ed­u­cate To­gether Sec­ondary school,’ said Jes­sica Bird, Chair­per­son of the North Wick­low Ed­u­cate To­gether Ac­tion Group.

‘ This de­ci­sion has left Wick­low chil­dren un­able to ac­cess the only Ed­u­cate To­gether sec­ond level school in the area. The num­bers show that pa­tron­age was granted to Ed­u­cate To­gether on the ba­sis of parental de­mand for a school of that ethos. The vast ma­jor­ity of these names came from Wick­low, yet now we are un­able to ac­cess the school.’

She said that catch­ment area should be ex­tended to in­clude both Ed­u­cate To­gether na­tional schools in North County Wick­low, Grey­stones and Wick­low Town. ‘Our chil­dren are the sole re­main­ing chil­dren in Wick­low who do not have the choice of a school of their ethos at sec­ond level.’

‘While the new school is called the North Wick­low Post-Pri­mary, it would ap­pear to be North Wick­low in name only,’ said elec­tion can­di­date Jennifer Whit­more. ‘While the re­port says that the school will serve any po­ten­tial over­flow de­mand for pupil places from the Grey­stones, Grey­stones is not a feeder area. This school is es­sen­tially a school for South County Dublin.’

She in­sists that chil­dren from the Grey­stones, Kil­coole, Del­gany and New­cas­tle ar­eas be in­cluded.

Over 460 par­ents from Grey­stones, Kil­coole, Del­gany and New­cas­tle ex­pressed their de­sire to enrol chil­dren in an Ed­u­cate To­gether sec­ondary school as the cam­paign for pa­tron­age was un­der­way. The to­tal for the county was over 1,000. Only 133 fam­i­lies from out­side Wick­low ex­pressed any in­ter­est in the school.

Deputy Stephen Don­nelly said that he has writ­ten to the Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion ask­ing him to re­ex­am­ine the catch­ment area and con­sider re­draw­ing it.

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