Bray People

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Crisis for second level school places in Kilcoole

Parents of sixth class children at Kilcoole Primary School are disappointed to learn that they will not get places this year at Coláiste Craobh Abhann.

There will be a public meeting on the matter in the Mill Room at Byrne's pub on Wednesday, January 29 at 8 p.m.

Mother Donna Shannon received a letter last week informing her that there would be no place at the school for her son. She said that has knowledge of at least 18 other students in the same position. 'We are up in arms about it,' said Donna. She said that parents have formed a group to try to correct the situation.

'It's just not good enough,' said Donna. She has an older child who is a past pupil of CCA, and still her son did not get a place. 'Most people applied when their children were in fifth class, and some even earlier,' she said.

There are three classes in the current sixth class at Kilcoole Primary School. 'Eight years ago, because there were so many children of that age in the area, there was a similar situation and parents fought to get extra accommodation. It was known then, and still not resolved,' said Donna.

She said that first year can be a daunting time for children coming from primary school and that her son and others want to stay with friends and are very disappointed. 'We've talked about nothing else and now his world has fallen apart,' she said. 'He was supposed to be going in soon for the entrance exam and now there's just no place.'

She said there is a lot of anger and upset among the parents affected. 'We have appealed to the KWETB and the Department of Education,' she said. 'There is a new school coming to Charlesland, but they haven't even turned a sod and these children are going to secondary school in eight months.'

Coláiste Craobh Abhann was built for 570 students and currently accommodates 800. A planned extension will not add any more capacity as it is only planned to accommodate the students on-site.

Cllr Jennifer Whitmore has arranged a meeting with KWETB to discuss people who did not get a place. She said that the deadline for enrolment for Greystones and Kilcoole Community College is January 31.

Parents have set up a petition on Change.Org, appealing to the Department of Education, KWETB and CCA Board of Management to create more places at the school.

'We want the Eduction Minister to ensure than an extension is fast-tracked so that the waiting list for 2020 can be facilitated,' the petition reads. 'We the undersigned call on the Minister for Education and Skills, the Director of Schools in KWETB and the Board of Management at Coláiste Craobh Abhann to provide more school places for children in the local area.'

Bray People