Friday 19 October 2018

Tuam Educate Together left in limbo as permanent move stalls

Principal of Tuam Educate Together Nuala Bourke pictured with her junior infants class.
Photo: Ray Ryan
Principal of Tuam Educate Together Nuala Bourke pictured with her junior infants class. Photo: Ray Ryan

Tuam Educate Together National School opened its doors to pupils in part of the disused building that once housed St Patrick's Christian Brothers School in the Galway town.

It was supposed to be a temporary arrangement as the school is due to be housed at the site of another Catholic school, which will be freed up as a result of an amalgamation.

Like other divestments around the country, the transfer was by no means straightforward, however.

Principal Nuala Bourke says: "The situation is unsatisfactory. When we moved in 2015, we were told we would be here for a year, but now we do not know when we will move. The amalgamation has been extremely slow to happen."

Part of the old secondary school was done up to accommodate Tuam Educate Together in its temporary home, but now the refurbished classrooms are working to full capacity

The principal says: "I have a waiting list of pupils who want to come into junior infants next year, but we do not know what will happen because we have no additional space at the moment.

"There are lots of empty classrooms around us, but there is no sign of them being divested to us."

She says that in a number of schools divested to Educate Together, there have been problems with accommodation. Schools have been opened on temporary sites.

Minister for Education Richard Bruton hopes to speed up the process of transferring schools from Catholic patronage by leasing the buildings from the church.

Some of the transfers have already taken place through leases, but these can prove cumbersome for the new schools, imposing restrictions on how they operate.

Irish Independent

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