Thursday, July 26, 2018

New patron appointed to Brannoxtown NS

A new patron for Brannoxtown National School has been appointed by the Department of Education & Skills, following the completion of negotiations for the divestment of patronage by the Archdiocese of Dublin, writes Brian Byrne.

The Kildare Wicklow Education & Training Board (KWETB) has been confirmed as the new patron by the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD.

This brings to an end an extended period of uncertainty since the school was officially closed in April by the Archdiocese. Prior to that, the school had not been operational since Christmas 2017.

The Minister's announcement has been welcomed by Deputy Martin Heydon, who says he is delighted with the news from his colleague which will enable the long history of primary education in Brannockstown to continue. Deputy Heydon has worked closely with the community, the Archdiocese, and the Department since the dropping numbers reached crisis level last summer.

"I want to acknowledge the long legacy of education in the area that the Archdiocese has managed for many decades," he said this evening, "and I wish the KWETB well in re-establishing what will now be a multi-denominational community national school for Brannoxtown." He added that this development will have a 'positive knock on impact' on other schools in the community, St Joseph’s Halverstown and Scoil Bhride Kilcullen, which have been experiencing capacity pressure recently.

The school’s new patron will be consulting further with the local community in relation to arrangements for the re-opening of Brannoxtown NS as a Community National School. The Chief Executive of KWETB, Dr Deirdre Keyes, said this evening that this is a 'very exciting time' for the community in Brannoxtown and for KWETB.

"The people of Brannoxtown see the school as the heart of their community and have worked hard to keep the school open through the years," she said. "KWETB are fully committed to this school and will work in partnership with the community to offer an excellent and holistic primary education for their children."

A public meeting with parents and the local community in Brannockstown will take place on Wednesday 1 August at 5.30pm in the school premises. Alternatively people can email  for enrolment forms or call 087 1124310 for more information.

The school reopened for the September 2017 term with just three pupils despite the efforts of a local Liaison Group to try and ensure enough students would be enrolled to keep it viable. In 2008 the roll had numbered 110.

Following the official closure, the Archdiocese announced its intention to divest its patronage if a new patron could be found.

A local group, Save Our School Brannoxtown (SOSB), facilitated meetings in May, at one of which three potential patron groups made presentations to local people in Brannockstown.

That meeting resulted in an overwhelming preference in the community for the KWETB to be appointed patron.

The school was originally established in 1855 by the local Baptist Community and became a school in the Kilcullen Catholic Parish in 1922. A brand new four-classroom building was opened in 2013.

The opening of the new school building in 2013.

Kilcullen Diary Policy on Photographs. Kilcullen Diary Privacy Policy.