PUPILS FACE BEING EDUCATED IN A BAR
PUPILS at Greystones Community National School face being educated in the function room at Greystones Rugby Club because of a lack of space at the school.
Deputy Stephen Donnelly said it is paramount that Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, intervene to resolve the situation. He said that while a site has been earmarked for a new school construction is not expected to start until 2018. However he said that he hoped it would be ready to open by September 2018. The school which first opened its doors in September 2015 has been operating from a series of Portakabins on the grounds of Greystones Rugby Club.
Deputy Donnelly said it had been initially flagged to the KWETB that two additional Portakabins would be needed this September to cope with the increased student population at the school.
However, as of last week, no application had been made by the KWETB, for funding.
Deputy Donnelly said that many parents at the school are opposed to having their children educated in the function room of the club for a variety of reasons.
‘Parents are very angry about this. They are appalled that the KWETB let this issue arise when they were warned of the problem last year.
‘Some parents are against using the function room for religious reasons while some reasons surround alcohol concerns.’
Deputy Donnelly has been working closely with the parents and school all year to try resolve the issue and raised the issue with Minister Bruton twice recently in addition to making contact with Department officials in Forward Planning Unit.
‘As of now there are two new more permanent Portakabins required but these haven’t been through Forward Planning and would also need planning permission from Wicklow County Council.
‘At that rate they won’t be installed in time for September so children will have to be educated in the clubhouse.
‘It is completely unacceptable that young children would have their classroom located in a bar. The need for the Portakabins was raised months ago and serious questions need to be asked why it has been left so late. Wicklow County Council is doing everything they can to help, but I cannot understand why the KWETB didn’t have this issue sorted out months ago.
‘Parents feel they are being stonewalled by the KWETB. There is absolutely no reason for this to be happening.
‘There is now no way of getting two semi-permanent Portakabins in place by September so parents want the KWETB or the Department of Education to fund a single temporary portakabin which will house both the affected classes as a bridging gap until the most permanent Portakabins are in place.
‘If this were to happen there would be no need to force children to move into a function room. It’s a relatively small amount of money needed to solve this problem and I have asked the Minister to make that funding available immediately.’
Deputy Donnelly said that both Wicklow County Council and the Greystones Rugby Club had been very accommodating saying the problem was not of their making.
Greystones Community National School.