Educate Together

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    A barrier has been erected at the entrance to Marsh House in Castlebar, the location of the new Educate Together Primary School, and it is preventing vehicles accessing the public Council car park located beside the school.

    The matter was raised by Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne at the February meeting of Castlebar Municipal District.

    He said three businesses, located opposite the entrance to the school, have reported that the barrier is significantly impacting on their customers, who had always used the council carpark.

    Councillor Kilcoyne told Midwest News today that he has no problem with Educate Together using the carpark, but he is objecting to it being blocked off to the general public.

    In response, council management said they will investigate the situation.

    Midwest News contacted Educate Together about the new barrier, and a spokesperson said they have contacted the Dept of Education to look into the matter.

    She said that Educate Together are under the impression that the lease secured between the Dept and the council included the entire property, and are now awaiting clarification.

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    There’s good news for the Educate Together schools in Castlebar and Tuam, as the Department of Education has agreed to lift the cap on enrolment numbers.

    A campaign had been underway by five Educate Together schools across the country to lift the restriction the Department had imposed of 13 junior infants in the new school year.

    The schools argued that this policy would restrict their growth.

    Educate Together has now welcomed the Department’s deicision to lift the enrolement restrictions and allow all five schools in Castlebar, Tuam, Trim, New Ross and Tramore to develop into 8 classroom full-stream schools.

  • Fianna Fail's education spokesperson has welcomed news that five Educate Together schools have been given the green light to expand to normal size.

    Deputy Thomas Byrne says it's good to hear agreement has been reached with the Department over the schools in Tramore, Trim, New Ross, Tuam and Castlebar.

    But he's concerned that site restrictions are still in place at some of the schools.

    Deputy Byrne says the Government 'spins' a lot about increasing multi denominational education, but he's worried the reality of the situation is completely different.

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    The Galway Educate Together school at Newcastle in Galway city is among dozens of schools across the country waiting to hear if any work is needed to make the buildings safe.

    Engineers and Department of Education officials are today reviewing structural reports from schools built by Western Building Systems.

    Tests were completed yesterday on the dozens of schools nationwide that were built by Western Building Systems.

    The Education Minister says any further problems will be quickly identified and communicated to schools by tomorrow.

    The review was ordered after three Dublin schools built by the company were forced to close, due to structural faults.

    Parts of those schools will re-open on Monday, but some students will have to be accommodated at nearby schools until the buildings are completely safe.

     

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    One Galway school is among the list of 42 schools possibly affected by structural issues.

    The Galway Educate Together National School in Newcastle is included on the full list of schools constructed by Western Building Systems between 2003 and 2018, which are now being examined in relation to structural safety.

    Two primary schools in Dublin were closed following structural checks, while a community college in Balbriggan closed 18 classrooms earlier this week due to significant structural issues.

    Education Minister Joe McHugh says there's no indication all 42 schools being checked will have to close, but he does expect more to do so.

    Inspections will continue next week, over the mid-term break.

    The Department of Education has set up a team to ensure principals are kept informed, and a separate team to secure alternative temporary accommodation where schools have to close.

     

  • The Education Minister needs to lift the restriction on the number of junior infants that can be taken into Educate Together schools next September.

    That’s according to Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh who says the restrictions could mean parents are faced with splitting up their families into different schools.

    The Department of Education has directed a number of Educate Together schools – including Castlebar – that their intake of junior infants for the next school year is limited at 13.

    Education Minister Richard Bruton came into the Seanad this week at the request of Senator Conway-Walsh to discuss the matter, and confirmed that his Department is currently carrying out a review, but he could not provide a timeline for the completion of the review.

    Senator Conway –Walsh says the restriction makes no sense given the demand for places in Educate Together schools.

  • Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring Mr. Michael Ring has today received confirmation from the Department of Education and Skills that a premises has been secured for the Westport Educate Together school to operate in.

    The Department of Education and Skills has been working closely with Educate Together to progress the establishment of a new multi-denominational school in Westport. In light of this development of securing a premises, it is planned that Educate Together will open in this premises in September 2019.

     

  • A public meeting will be held in Galway on Monday evening to discuss plans for opening an Educate Together secondary school in the city.

    The Education Minister Richard Bruton recently invited patrons to apply for four new second-level schools to open in 2019 - including one in the Galway city / Oranmore area.

    Educate Together is currently garnering support from interested parents in the Galway area to establish a second-level school, and a public meeting will be held at NUI Galway on Monday evening next at 8pm for those interested.