Ed­u­cate To­gether gets new school pa­tron­age

GROUP SE­CURED TWO-THIRDS OF PAR­ENTS VOTES

Wicklow People - - FRONT PAGE - By MYLES BUCHANAN

ED­U­CATE To­gether has been awarded the pa­tron­age of a new school for Wick­low town, after win­ning 59 per cent of the vote.

The school will open in Septem­ber 2019 and ac­com­mo­date up to 600 pupils. The ex­act lo­ca­tion has still to be de­ter­mined.

Par­ents were asked to se­lect their choice from four ap­pli­cant pa­trons – Ed­u­cate To­gether, Kil­dare and Wick­low Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing Board, Le Chéile Schools Trust and Scoil Sinéad Limited – through an on­line vot­ing process.

Louisa Mee­han of the Wick­low Ed­u­cate To­gether Se­condary School Cam­paign said: ‘We were thrilled when we heard the news. We could not have been hap­pier. We re­ceived a lot of sup­port. When we were out cam­paign­ing and talk­ing to par­ents, we were re­ceiv­ing great feed­back.’

ED­U­CATE To­gether has been awarded the pa­tron­age of a new school planned for Wick­low town, after win­ning 59 per cent of first pref­er­ence votes.

The school will open in Septem­ber 2019 and ac­com­mo­date up to 600 pupils. The ex­act lo­ca­tion has still to be de­ter­mined by the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and Skills, who re­main in talks.

Par­ents were asked to se­lect their choice of four ap­pli­cant pa­trons – Ed­u­cate To­gether, Kil­dare and Wick­low Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing Board, Le Chéile Schools Trust and Scoil Sinéad Limited – through an on­line vot­ing process. The pa­tron­age process was over­seen by an ex­ter­nal in­de­pen­dent ad­vi­sory group, the New Schools Es­tab­lish­ment Group (NSEG).

Louisa Mee­han of the Wick­low Ed­u­cate To­gether Se­condary School Cam­paign has thanked all the vol­un­teers in­volved in the push.

‘We were thrilled when we heard the news. We could not have been hap­pier,’ said Louisa.

‘We re­ceived a lot of sup­port. Even when we were out cam­paign­ing and talk­ing to par­ents, we were re­ceiv­ing great feed­back. We got a huge amount of votes and had the sup­port of par­ents form all sorts of dif­fer­ent back­grounds. We had over 30 par­ents giv­ing up their time for our cam­paign and they all made very worth­while con­tri­bu­tions. We handed out flyers and did leaflet drops to es­tates in the area with a den­sity of chil­dren. We cam­paigned in Tesco, Cen­tra and out­side the lo­cal banks.

‘We are, of course, thrilled and hon­oured to have been trusted by the com­mu­nity to de­liver a new school un­der the Ed­u­cate To­gether ethos and we are very ex­cited by this op­por­tu­nity. We are also look­ing for­ward to de­vel­op­ing ex­cel­lent re­la­tion­ships with the ex­ist­ing sec­ond level schools in the com­mu­nity and en­gag­ing with all na­tional schools in a col­lab­o­ra­tive and mu­tu­ally sup­port­ive man­ner’.

Of the to­tal valid first pref­er­ence votes of 587, Ed­u­cate To­gether re­ceived 346, fol­lowed by Le Chéile Schools Trust with 196 votes, KWETB with 40 and Scoil Sinead with five votes.

Paul Rowe, Ed­u­cate To­gether CEO, has praised cam­paign­ers for their ef­forts.

‘I want to pay trib­ute to all the vol­un­teers that stepped up to cam­paign for the school,’ he said. ‘This is true peo­ple power and the open­ing of this equal­ity-based school is their achieve­ment. These vol­un­teers have been giv­ing up their free time can­vass­ing at shop­ping cen­tres, de­liv­er­ing leaflets and talk­ing to other par­ents about what Ed­u­cate To­gether means to them and their chil­dren. They are do­ing all this for their chil­dren, lo­cal fam­i­lies and the wider com­mu­nity – Ed­u­cate To­gether would be noth­ing with­out the sup­port of these com­mit­ted vol­un­teers’.

Prin­ci­pal re­cruit­ment for the school will be­gin shortly. Par­ents who ex­pressed in­ter­est will be con­tacted and the ad­mis­sions process for the school will open in the com­ing weeks.

‘We will be start­ing off the process very soon. The en­rol­ment pro­ce­dure will start in the next few weeks,’ said Louisa.

The Wick­low Ed­u­cate To­gether Se­condary School Cam­paign is also sup­port­ive of Ed­u­cate To­gether ef­forts to se­cure the pa­tron­age of the new school pri­mary planned for New­town­moun­tkennedy.

‘We are back­ing that cam­paign as well. The process has started and the De­part­ment should be mak­ing an an­nounce­ment within the next two weeks. Ed­u­cate To­gether ran a great cam­paign in New­town and we are hope­ful that it will prove suc­cess­ful,’ said Louisa.

Ad­mis­sions poli­cies will be avail­able at www.ed­u­cate­to­ge­hter.ie. Ed­u­cate To­gether is wait­ing for con­fir­ma­tion of ac­com­mo­da­tion from the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and Skills.

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