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.
Our campaign story so far – in numbers.
We are campaigning for a NEW Second level school for Kildare South to provide more places, more choice & more badly needed ASDClass places.
Are you a concerned parent? Make your voice heard.
Talk to your local TDs. Email your concerns to the Minister’s office.
There’s an ad on the TV at the moment with the catchphrase “Change is good”. It could also say that change is inevitable. The modern Ireland we now live in, needs modern schools and a modern approach to education. The time for change is NOW.
Parent Enda shares his story: Having already experienced refusal on denominational grounds at primary level, he now fears for secondary – No Faith. What School Choice Will My Sons Really Have?
Is it good enough to expect parents to just be glad their child has a school place? With the ever increasing demand for secondary places locally, parent Paula explains Why Any School Place is Just NOT Good Enough, and why providing an alternative choice in secondary education in Kildare South will ensure the needs of all children in the area are met.
The Minister for Education is to review her decision to deny the south of the county a new second-level school, according to campaigners for an Educate Together facility.
The South Kildare Educate Together Second-level Group (SKET 2L) again met with Minister Jan O’Sullivan, along with Deputy Jack Wall on January 28th. The campaigners have been relentlessly lobbying on the issue for months, gathering over 2000 signatures of parents.
This follows on from the initial meeting with the Minister in November, where she agreed to share the demographic analysis with the group, which was received before Christmas.
Having analysed the Department’s data for Kildare South, group members met with the Minister and Deputy Jack Wall, to outline their serious concerns with the Department’s analysis, which they believe has overestimated the current/planned capacity while underestimating the predicted demand in Kildare South.
“The group demonstrated the inaccuracies in the assumptions made by the Department of Education & Skills, specifically feeder school inaccuracies, admission policy restrictions and inclusion of restrictive fee playing places in capacity available” said the group in a statement to the press. “They outlined that future growth and expansion in the area, including influx of employers and investment in housing infrastructure, is not being taken into account”.
The group also voiced their concerns regarding the disparity of dedicated ASD Class Facility provision from primary to second- level in the area.
Deputy Jack Wall also stated to the Minister that the mid-East area of Ireland, including Kildare, is experiencing a significant growth, and that not only was a new second-level school required now, but that future provision must also be reviewed by the Department now.
Jennifer Buttner, chair of the campaign group said “We are deeply concerned about the assumptions made by the Department’s demographic review of Kildare South , and we thank the Minister of Education Jan O’Sullivan, for taking the time to meet with our group, where she listened to, and acknowledged, our concerns. The Minister agreed to bring our data back to the Department early this week, and revert to the group before the General Election.
We would like to thank Jack Wall TD for facilitating the meeting, and acknowledge the support of Fiona McLoughlin Healy, Mark Wall, Sean O’Fearghail TD, and Martin Heydon TD.
Our grass roots, parent-led campaign will continue in earnest, on behalf of the 2100 children’s names now registered for a South Kildare Educate Together Second-level, to exhaust every avenue open to us, in our campaign for a NEW Second-level school build which will provide choice, diversity, and equality-based education locally for all families in Kildare South”.
This piece first appeared in the Leinster Leader on 9th Feb 2016
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More 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 www.sket2ndlevel.org to express their interest or access further information.
This piece first appeared in the Leinster Leader on Tuesday 18th August 2015