PLACES IN NEW SCHOOL WILL BE HELD FOR DUBLIN STUDENTS
NORTH WICKLOW EDUCATE TOGETHER ‘WILL BE NORTH WICKLOW IN NAME ONLY’
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.