Category Archives: events

Campaign Featured in Local Press This Week

Leinster Leader 18th AugMore than 850 children’s names have been registered by way of expression of interest, for a new Educate Together Second-level school in Kildare South, catering for Newbridge, Kildare, Kilcullen and surrounding areas.

“We are continuing to collect names and the numbers are growing. We have a number of information days lined up. On August 23rd, we will be at the Kicullen River Festival,  and on Saturday 29th August, we will have a stand in Whitewater Shopping Centre” said Jennifer Buttner.

Campaigners point out that there was a shortfall of 162 second-level places in Newbridge for this September. They say that despite 500 new places planned for St.Conleth’s Community College, and an application for  an extension to the Patrician Boys School, indications are that these will be insufficient to meet significant growing demand for more places and choice in Second-level education in the area.

They also point out that the Kildare Town Community School is also enrolling at capacity and by 2019, the Kildare Town Educate Together School will have it’s first 6th class pupils graduate, and in 20121, Gaelscoil Mhic Aodha will also have it’s first pupils leave the school for Second-level.

Jennifer points out that the school would be open to all people, not just pupils from Educate Together Primary schools.

“The school would cater for a broad demographic and obviously the location would have to be decided by the Department, but it could cater for areas across South Kildare” she said.

The group has written to Minister Jan O’Sullivan, highlighting the need for a new school, and requesting a meeting.

Parents can log onto to express their interest or access further information.

This piece first appeared in the Leinster Leader on Tuesday 18th August 2015

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Full House at our Public Meeting

There was a full house at the Public meeting last Thursday night to address the chronic shortage of secondary school places for Newbridge and its wider hinterland.

meeting thurs night

Register your interest for a 2nd Level Educate Together School in Kildare South.
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Jennifer Buttner, chairperson of South Kildare Educate Together 2nd level campaign introduced the speakers for the night and spoke of her wish to see an Educate Together Secondary School somewhere in the region to service Newbridge and further afield.

“My experience of Educate Together has been so positive at primary school level that I am committed to working towards a Second level Educate Together no matter how long it takes because I know the tremendous benefit it would be to our community,” said Jennifer Buttner

Secondary School Place Shortage

fiona public meetingCllr Fiona McLoughlin Healy presented the findings of research painstakingly conducted by volunteers, of all the children leaving primary school this year versus the number of secondary school places available to accept them.

This time last year she found evidence of a shortfall of 133 secondary school places in Newbridge to service the needs of Newbridge primary feeder schools. That shortfall has jumped over 30 places since last year.

“ Once you factor in demand from rural schools, the expected acceleration in growth of primary school children in Kildare and the fact that we have no ASD unit in Newbridge – the demand for second level places could reach over 1300 places over the next 5 years. Knowledge is power and the more information we have about actual demand the more powerful our message.

But an important part of that message, not communicated by the numbers is the importance of choice when it comes to second level education. Educate Together would be a very positive and welcome addition to the choice of over-subscribed schools in the area” said Fiona McLoughlin Healy.

Educate Together Ethos

amy public meetingAmy Mulvihill, Educate Together representative told the assembled crowd about their ethos.

“For over 30 years Educate Together has successfully developed a unique, equality-based, democratic and learner-centred model of education. Instead of teaching to the test, we educate students to become fully rounded people and enhance their learning capacity.

There are now 77 Educate Together primary schools educating over 19,000 students across Ireland with 25% of schools operating in the DEIS scheme and many having designated autism/SEN units. We have 3 second-level schools open at the moment and 5 more are due to open by 2016. The schools have a very strong focus on the needs of the students, balanced with the academic requirements of our education system”, said Amy Mulvihill.

Wicklow Start-up Group

jessica public meetingJessica Bird, the final speaker presented her experience of lobbying for an Educate Together  Secondary School in Wicklow, which is due to open in 2016.

“ After an initial campaign that failed largely because of numbers, our parents re-grouped and succeeded second time around. They may tell you numbers don’t matter, that choice matters but when it comes down to it, numbers do matter.

For a town the size of Newbridge you would need at least 2,000 expression of interest from parents seeking an Educate Together Secondary School.” Said Jessica Bird.

How Can you Help

If you are a parent who is interested in getting another Second Level School in or around Newbridge or its feeder areas please log onto and complete an expression of interest form today.

SKET 2nd level campaign are also looking for new volunteers and invite offers of help through their website/facebook or twitter accounts.

Register your interest for a 2nd Level Educate Together School in Kildare South.
Follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

This article also appeared in Kildare Nationalist on Tuesday 12th May 2015.