independent

Sunday 15 September 2019

Joy as new school to open next year

New school will open a year earlier than anticipated

Mary Fogarty

A new secondary school for Greystones and Kilcoole will open sooner than expected, because of the demand for places.

Minister for Education Joe McHugh made the announcement on Monday that opening date for the school has been moved from September 2021, to September 2020.

The school will be located on lands at Charlesland and will accommodate 800 pupils.

Cllr Jennifer Whitmore said that this is very welcome news for worried parents and students who had not yet secured a place in first year for September next year.

‘There were quite a number of families whose children were still far down the waiting lists for Templecarrig and St David’s Schools and this news will be a great relief for them,’ she said.

Cllr Whitmore said that in recent months she and concerned parents began an email campaign outlining the specifics of each student’s situation and asking the minister to intervene so that they could be assured of a place.

Potential patrons for the new secondary school have been asked to apply by August 28, following on from that, parents will get to ‘vote’ for their patron of choice. The parents of all children who be starting first year in secondary school from 2020-2024, and who are living in the relevant school planning areas will be eligible to make their preferences known in the online survey.

Minister Andrew Doyle said that many parents had contacted his office over the past number of years highlighting the lack of spaces in schools in the area. ‘I have been making representations on behalf of families in Wicklow and I am delighted that today’s announcement is as a result of the department reviewing projected enrolment figure,’ he said.

‘Patronage for a new school is an important decision for a community,’ said the education minister.

‘These invitations to patrons are only the first step. Over the coming months an online patronage survey will run in each area where parents and guardians of eligible children living in the areas will be asked to express their preferences on patronage of these new schools. These patronage preferences, together with the extent of diversity currently in each area, will be key to decisions on successful patrons.

‘I would also appeal to prospective patrons as the information they provide now and over the coming months will help inform parents. Clear, concise and comprehensive information will help parents to make an informed decision.’

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