The campaign appreciates Senator Catherine Noone’s efforts raising the shortage of second-level places in Kildare South in the Seanad on 26th September last.
The reply she received from Minister of State at the Department of Education & Skills, Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor is however disappointing.
The Minister referenced the Report commissioned by our Campaign, based on data from Census 2016, and quite wrongly inferred a contradiction between the findings and the census data contained therein.
The report was submitted to Minister Bruton on 28th August last, however we have yet to receive a reply from his office to indicate that the content has been read and reviewed by the relevant officials. We are also still waiting on a reply to our request for a meeting.
Despite the Department’s reluctance to engage with the evidence of a shortfall in second level places we look forward to the results of their ongoing demographic exercises & promised Review of second-level school places in South Kildare, expected before the end of the year.
The outputs of this review are now quite urgent. Any delay in this process is further threatening the ability of children to attend second-level education in their own area of South Kildare, and increasing pressure on the local schools.
We ask yet again for a meeting with the Forward Planning Section of the Department of Education and Skills, and for our local representatives to continue to support the aim of our three year, voluntary campaign.
On 9th September 2017, the South Kildare Educate Together 2nd Level campaign group turned three years old!
Hard to believe it but we’ve turned 3! 3 years of campaigning to highlight the second-level capacity shortfall in South Kildare. Read our story here:
South Kildare Educate Together Second-Level Start-up is a voluntary group of parents, whose aim is to provide choice in the South Kildare region, where little exists, to cope with the growing demand for places needed at second-level, and who are dedicated to the establishment of an Educate Together Second-Level in Kildare South.
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Commissioned by the South Kildare Educate Together 2nd Level (SKET) campaign group and based on CSO figures, the report has been presented to the local TD’s and sent to the Minister of Education & Skills. It sets out serious concerns relating to school capacity, projected future demand and the region’s increasingly diverse population.
Read Full report here : A Profile of South Kildare Secondary School Demographics
As a new generation of South Kildare children begin primary school this week, a major report released today paints a clear picture of the need to expand second level options in the region.
Commissioned by the South Kildare Educate Together 2nd Level (SKET) campaign group and based on CSO figures, the report has been presented to the local TD’s, and will be sent to the Minister for Education today. It sets out serious concerns relating to school capacity, projected future demand and the region’s increasingly diverse population.
In his book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell says the tipping point is “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point”. It’s the point when the incoherent and diffuse combine and become the potent and unstoppable.
Tipping points can occur in fashion.
It happened with hipster beards. Stylish beards were once rare. Then sometime around 2012, George Clooney and Ben Affleck grew some face fuzz. Quickly afterwards the whole thing passed its tipping point of acceptance and every second guy on the street had a manscaped jawline. The important thing to note is that the tipping point happened way before its inevitable adoption by a larger group of real men catching up to the trend.
Tipping points occur in society too.
There was a time when nearly everyone opposed the idea of marriage equality. Then in the early part of the last decade more people started to support the idea. Then, who knows when – maybe during season three of Will and Grace, positive attitudes towards LGBT people and support levels for marriage equality passed the tipping point. Passing the tipping point meant that the insignificant number had become a potent minority. The minority was not going to stop campaigning. The minority were now growing; were substantial and were going to campaign and agitate, until they convinced enough people of the case for marriage equality. The end result? It became reality.
Image created by Jack Moreh, obtained from www.freerangestock.com
So what does all this have to do with our campaign in County Kildare? What does the latest census say about supporters of truly egalitarian, multi-denominational education in our community?
The campaign group love hearing personal stories and were delighted to hear from children attending an Educate Together second-level and what they love about their school. From the students:
The campaign group love getting personal stories, but we particularly love to hear what is great about teaching in an Educate Together second-level. From a teacher:
I have had the pleasure of teaching in a second level Educate Together School for the past three years.
The ethos of “no child an outsider” allows me to teach in a variety of creative ways which is inclusive of all abilities.
So concerned by the lack of second-level options available to them next year, a sixth class pupil from Newbridge Educate Together school has written a letter to Minister Bruton.
19th July 2016 – Minister Bruton Commits to Review Campaign’s Data Analysis & Department’s Decision to Deny Kildare South a New Second-level School
The campaign group met with Minister for Education & Skills, Richard Bruton, along with Kildare South elected TDs Martin Heydon, Sean O’Fearghail & Fiona O’Loughlin, on Tuesday 19th July last, to present some recent data analysis to further challenge the demographic exercise performed by the Department of Education & Skills for South Kildare, and the decision by Minister Jan O’Sullivan last November, to deny a new school build for Kildare South.
The group also had the opportunity to meet an Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who kindly gave them some time to highlight their concerns, and the problems faced by the growing number of parents seeking second-level places for their children in the Kildare South area. The Taoiseach was very supportive and committed to talking to the Minister for Education & Skills on our behalf.
On 21st June 2016, our campaign group, and parents who wrote about their concerns regarding Second-level provision in Kildare South, have started to receive communications from the Minister of Education, Richard Bruton TD, and the Department of Education.
Minister Bruton & the Department of Education & Skills believes that a new Second-level school is not currently required for Kildare South. That between all the Second-level schools in the area there will be enough places for all children, regardless of the model of education they seek or what faith they have. And there is no mention of any additional ASD Class provision being provided. We respectfully disagree.