Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Archbishop officially closes Brannoxtown NS

A meeting to try and save the school, in September 2017.
The Archbishop of Dublin has decided to close Brannoxtown National School permanently, writes Brian Byrne.

The Department of Education has been informed of the decision. All teaching staff have been redeployed, and all ancillary staff have been made redundant.

Following a dramatic drop in attendance over recent years, and despite a campaign to save the school by a committee of local residents and parents, the school has not been operational since Christmas.

In January, that group called on the Patron to 'engage with it to help return the school to use'.

The school began the term in September 2017 with just three pupils. This compared to the roll of 110 pupils in 2007 and 2008, and 87 in 2011.

Save Our School Brannoxtown (SOSB) was formed after public meetings in June and July last year, which highlighted a critical position in relation to prospective numbers. These meetings resulted in the formation of a Community Liaison Group to work with the school management to try and get commitments from parents on returning their children to the school.

The SOSB group produced a report outlining the events which led to the closure of a school which had a €500,000 new building provided in 2013. The group blamed 'a failure in governance of its patron' which caused parents to withdraw and not enrol their children in the school.

The Special Manager appointed by the Patron in September, Gerry O'Donoghue, has confirmed to the Diary that the Archbishop has decided to close the school.