The Department Of Education has indicated they have found a solution to address the shortage of school places in Greystones and Kilcoole.
Following a meeting with local reps this evening, officials have confirmed 3 additional classrooms are to be sourced to accommodate up to 80 students who are still without a place in the area.
Speaking after the meeting, Deputy Jennifer Whitmore said:
"I welcome commitments from the Department of Education that three new classes will be established to accommodate students on waiting lists in Greystones and Kilcoole. The Department is in talks with school patrons and boards of management right now. The department is also conducting onsite visits to address any issues that may arise from the additional classrooms. The Department confirmed that there would be updates issued to parents in the coming weeks. I know parents and students will be relieved to get this news.
“In the meeting I also raised the need to progress the three promised school builds for the area and have them completed as soon as possible to ensure that we are not back in this situation again next year. These include a new permanent building for Greystones Community College. The tender for this school has been out for a year and is back with the Department now.
Minister Simon Harris added: “According to the Department the factual position is as follows: the tenders were due in by the end of September, they came in by then, and now they have to place the tender within 180 days.
“This means that by next month we must get a decision on this.
“This however should have happened many months ago and now is the time to hold the Department to account on their timelines and get a decision on Greystones Community College going to construction by next month.
“I did get confirmation from the Department of Education that Greystones Community College is a top priority, which is some recognition of the very urgent faced by people in Greystones.
While Deputy Steven Mattews said “While this is welcome progress, it isn’t fast enough and represents a failure in the Department of Education’s forward planning system. Greystones has experienced rapid population growth and the provision of school places has not kept up with that."
In a further update the Board of Management of Greystones Community College are now in a position to offer an additional 48 school places for 1st year, September 2024.
The Board are confident that this move will alleviate some of the pressure that is currently being felt by families in the Greystones area due to the shortage of school places.
The Board of Management have taken this decision after meeting with Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board on February 8th, where correspondences from the Department of Education provided reassurance on addressing potential challenges which had been previously raised.