Thursday, August 20, 2015

Campaign for Educate Together secondary school

An information stand on a campaign for a new second level school in Kildare South will be at the Kilcullen River Festival this weekend, writes Brian Byrne.

It is being organised by the Educate Together movement, which already has two primary schools in the area, in Newbridge and Kildare town.

Going by the name SKET2L (South Kildare Educate Together Second Level Campaign Group), the organisers say that extension plans in the current second level schools will not be able to meet a 'significant' growing demand for more choice in second level education in Newbridge and the wider south Kildare area.

Following a public meeting in May in Newbridge, SKET2L has gathered names of more than 850 children whose parents want an ET second level school in the Kildare South.

In Newbridge alone, there's a shortfall of 162 places for pupils leaving the primary sector and needing to start second level.

Kilcullen's Cross & Passion College is one of the schools to which Newbridge children go as an alternative to scarce places in their home town. CPC has already increased its number of available places for this year to 144. The College caters for eight 'feeder' schools, two of which are in Newbridge.

In Newbridge, 500 new places are planned for St Conleth's Community College, and there's an application for an extension to the Patrician Boys School. SKET2L says that even these measures won't be sufficient to meet the demand, against a background of more than 580 pupils leaving primary level this past June in Newbridge and the surrounding locality.

In Kildare town the second level Community School is already enrolling at capacity, even before the town's ET primary school delivers its first graduating class in 2019.

In addition to the River Festival stand, SKET2L will be at the Whitewater Shopping Centre on Saturday 29 August. Further information is available from Jennifer Buttner, chairperson, at 087 4153129, or go to the web page