Tag Archives: second-level schools

Why I Love Teaching in an Educate Together Second-level

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.

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No Faith. What School Choice Will My Sons Really Have?

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?

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Why Any School Place Is Just NOT Good Enough

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.

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Minister’s Letter in Response to Campaign Group Data

Since our second meeting with the Minister & Deputy Jack Wall on January 28th, the campaign group have been awaiting a response from the Minister, as she had promised at the meeting.

At that meeting the Minister acknowledged our data, and promised us that she would respond (early the following week) that our data was being reviewed by the Department of Education & Skills.

Over the last 4 weeks, the campaign group have continued to request this response, both from the Minister’s office and from Deputy Jack Wall.

Finally, 4 weeks after that second meeting with the Minister, we have received the following letter today, 25th February.

Minister Letter 25 Feb 16 P1

Minister Letter 25 Feb 16 P2The group welcomes the Minister’s acknowledgement of our valuable data and her request that the Department senior officials continue to expedite the analysis of our data, and that they have this completed as soon as possible.

The campaign group look forward to working with the newly elected TDs of Kildare South post the General Election 2016, to maintain the urgency of this situation for Kildare South, and to get the decision for a much needed new Second-level school to be made at the earliest opportunity.

We acknowledge the support of Jack Wall in following up on this matter.

Are you a concerned parent? Make your voice heard.

You Can Register your interest here for a Second-level Educate Together school in Kildare South & follow our campaign on Facebook & Twitter.

 

 

Education Questions You Should Ask Your Local Election Candidates

Now that the General Election is around the corner, and canvassers are starting to arrive at your doors, have you considered what issues you might raise with them? Are you concerned about the provision for second-level education in Kildare South?

Now is the time to make your voice heard. Here are some Education Questions You Should Ask Your Local Election Candidates when they call to your door.

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Download GE16_Candidate Questions Flyer, print out and keep it near your front door for convenience.

Are you a concerned parent? Make your voice heard.
Talk to your GE16 candidates. Email your concerns to the Minister’s office.

You Can Register your interest here for a Second-level Educate Together school in Kildare South & follow our campaign on Facebook & Twitter.

Campaign for Second-level Educate Together Fights On

The Campaign Group for a Second-level Educate Together school in Kildare South continues to fight on, and challenges the demographic exercise performed by the Department of Education & Skills, and the subsequent decision by Minister Jan O’Sullivan to deny a new school build for Kildare South.

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Kildare South was included in a list of areas for ongoing demographic review, and the Department of Education & Skills agreed to share their demographic analysis data of Kildare South with the group, when they met with the Minister on 17th November. The group received this data mid December.

Having analysed the Department’s demographic data, group members met with Kildare South elected representatives Jack Wall TD, Sean O’Fearghail TD, and councillors Mark Wall and Fiona McLoughlin Healy, on Thursday 14th January, to outline their concerns with the Department’s analysis.

All present acknowledged that there are inaccuracies in the assumptions made by the Department of Education & Skills, and that future growth and expansion in the area, due to the recovering local economy, is not being taken into account.

Deputy Jack Wall confirmed that the Minister has agreed to meet again with the campaign group, within the next 2 weeks, so they can present their concerns.

Jennifer Buttner, chair of the campaign group said

“We have analysed the Department’s demographic data for Kildare South, and as expected, we are deeply concerned with the assumptions made. At a high level the main issues we see are :

  • The Department defined Feeder Areas are very different to what is happening in reality on the ground e.g. the Kilcullen area shows 3 primary schools on Department map, but in reality there are 9 feeder primary schools listed with the Kilcullen Cross & Passion College.
  • Additional places in Naas are being factored in to the Newbridge and Kilcullen area capacity by the Department. In reality, Newbridge & Kilcullen children don’t choose to attend schools in Naas, and often only do so when no places of choice are available to them in their area.
  • The widely varying Admission Policies in operation across the second-level schools in the area are not factored into the Department’s analysis.
  • Kildare Town Community School is already enrolling at capacity from their catchment area, and that is in advance of children leaving 6th class from the 2 new primary schools in Kildare town from 2019 onwards.
  • The fee-paying Newbridge College is assumed in the Department’s capacity figures for the Newbridge area. The group strongly believe that only non-fee paying, publicly funded, schools should be included in the capacity assumptions.

We look forward to meeting the Minister of Education Jan O’Sullivan, and the Department officials again, within the next 2 weeks, to highlight our concerns.

We will continue in earnest, on behalf of the 2060 children’s names now registered for a South Kildare Educate Together Second-level, to campaign for a NEW Second-level school build which will provide choice, diversity, and equality-based education locally for all families in Kildare South”.

Press Release 18th January 2016

Are you a concerned parent? Make your voice heard.
Talk to your GE16 candidates. Email your concerns to the Minister’s office.

You Can Register your interest here for a Second-level Educate Together school in Kildare South & follow our campaign on Facebook & Twitter.

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 www.sket2ndlevel.org 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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