Monday 11 December 2017

Parents in shock as school to move 20km

School authorities informed parents at a meeting on Thursday night that the senior school would move over the summer to Old Conna House on 14 acres of parkland and forest at Rathmichael, Co Dublin
School authorities informed parents at a meeting on Thursday night that the senior school would move over the summer to Old Conna House on 14 acres of parkland and forest at Rathmichael, Co Dublin
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Parents at a small private school in leafy Dublin 4 have been left "shocked" following the announcement it intends to move to new premises almost 20km away by next September.

John Scottus School operates both primary and secondary education from separate buildings on Morehampton Road in Donnybrook.

School authorities informed parents at a meeting on Thursday night that the senior school would move over the summer to Old Conna House on 14 acres of parkland and forest at Rathmichael, Co Dublin. The stately building was designed by Charles Lanyon, designer of the National Gallery.

Old Conna was formerly the home of Aravon School, which went into liquidation in 2013, having previously been bailed out by Chris de Burgh.

In a statement posted on its website, John Scottus said the decision to relocate the senior school offers "the facilities, space and environment" to "transform the lives of our students and our wider community".

The school intends to start junior infants at the Old Conna in September, though it plans to also maintain the existing junior school facility - though operating from new permanent premises in Dublin city centre, yet to be determined.

One father with children in both the senior and junior schools claimed John Scottus, which has a special "ethos and thoughtfulness", was "pulling the plug on its students, supporters and families".

"Most parents spent the night looking at alternative schools," he said.

The effect for senior students "is very immediate and dramatic" he said.

A mother with pupils in the junior school told the Irish Independent that at the meeting, school authorities pledged to lay on buses to the new campus.

"But I'm not jumping up and down for joy," she said, adding she had never wanted to send her children to a non-local school. The school authorities were not available for comment.

Irish Independent

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