independent

Thursday 16 August 2018

Students appeal for their new building

Wayne Nelson and Lucy Skye Dunne with one of the letters being sent by the students of North Wicklow Educate Together to Richard Bruton about their school premises
Wayne Nelson and Lucy Skye Dunne with one of the letters being sent by the students of North Wicklow Educate Together to Richard Bruton about their school premises

Mary Fogarty

Students from North Wicklow Educate together posted letters to the Minister for Education Richard Bruton last week, pleading for information on where their school will be going.

The lease on the current premises is up in May, 2019, just before the students do their Junior Certificate exams.

Parents also wrote to the Minister.

'When our child joined the school we understood that it was on the Department of Education and Skills Construction list to be built in 2018,' they said.

'We know that the lease for the current temporary school premises ends in May 2019. There has been absolutely no information about progress on a permanent school building since the location on the BIFE campus was confirmed by the Department last June.

'We are extremely worried about where our children are going to find themselves in 12 months' time and when, or if, we can expect them to have access to a fully-functioning, purpose-built school as expected.

'Our child's education is important to us and so are the health, safety and appropriateness of the school accommodation, including suitable outside areas for sport and recreation and accommodation for the ASD Unit. It is unacceptable that our children's opportunities should be adversely affected by being educated in substandard temporary school buildings or by the stress of not knowing where or when they will find themselves next.

'Please advise me of what steps you are taking to make sure that the construction of North Wicklow Educate Together is progressing. We need facts and timelines for both the immediate issue of accommodation for next year and for the construction of the new school building on BIFE campus and we need them urgently.'

A spokesperson for the board said that 70 first years started in September, with over 100 due to start in September 2019. The school is outgrowing its current premises on Putland Road.

Residents of The Headlands next door have allowed the school to use their green area and community garden.

'We are concerned about where we will be going,' said the spokesperson. 'We want a proper solution in the short term, and a new school to be built on the BIFE campus ASAP. We have had no contact whatsoever from the department since they told us we would be going onto the BIFE site. Teachers will have to pack up the school next year and they don't know where they are going.'

Bray People

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