LATEST: 'Extremely worrying development', Parent's association critical of talks on possible amalgamation of Cork city schools

LATEST: 'Extremely worrying development', Parent's association critical of talks on possible amalgamation of Cork city schools

The talks involve the North Monastery, St Vincent’s, and North Presentation schools. Pic Larry Cummins

LATEST: St Vincent’s girls secondary school have informed parents representatives that their school is in talks with the North Monastery and North Presentation schools about the future of education in the three schools.

The parents’ association of the school has labelled it “an extremely worrying development and could lead to the removal of the single sex status of our school, or potentially the amalgamation of our unique school with other local secondary schools.” 

In a statement the parent's association went on to say that they wished to “reaffirm the rights of our daughters and that of every young girl from the northside to an all-girls’ secondary education, if that is what she desires.” 

As reported in The Echo, the three schools under the Religious Sisters of Charity, Catholic Education an Irish Schools Trust (CEIST), and Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST) respectively, are exploring “together current and future Catholic educational provision in North Cork city”.

A joint statement from the three groups confirmed: “A consultation process is now commencing which will seek to gather the perspectives of boards of management, staff, students and parents.

“We hope to capture the joys, concerns, hopes and anxieties of all which will inform a vision for Catholic secondary education in North Cork city and serve the community for decades to come.

“This process will be guided by an independent facilitator, Mr Frank Smith.” A Department of Education spokesperson said that as yet: “The department has received no formal proposal from the patron/trustees of North Monastery Secondary School, North Presentation Secondary School or St Vincent’s Secondary School.”

EARLIER: THREE second-level schools on Cork’s northside are in talks about their future.

It’s been confirmed that the North Monastery, St Vincent’s, and North Presentation schools, are in talks to “explore together current and future Catholic educational provision in North Cork city”.

It is understood that these talks could explore if the three schools should merge.

The process between the schools, under the Religious Sisters of Charity, Catholic Education an Irish Schools Trust (CEIST), and Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST) respectively, will be guided by an independent facilitator.

Statement from schools 

Asked if there were plans in place to merge the three schools, a spokesperson for the ERST provided a joint statement on behalf of the three organisations involved.

The statement said: “North Cork city benefits from an excellent range of Catholic Secondary Schools.

“North Monastery, St Vincent’s and North Presentation are an integral part of a deeply valued and rich historical tradition maintained and supported by local communities over the years.

“In appreciation of the rapidly changing educational landscape and the significant service the schools are providing, the three patrons have agreed that it is an opportune time, in collaboration with each of the school communities, to explore together current and future Catholic educational provision in North Cork city.

“A consultation process is now commencing which will seek to gather the perspectives of boards of management, staff, students and parents.

“We hope to capture the joys, concerns, hopes and anxieties of all which will inform a vision for Catholic secondary education in North Cork city and serve the community for decades to come.

“This process will be guided by an independent facilitator, Mr Frank Smith.”

No formal proposals 

A Department of Education spokesperson said: “The decision-making authority for any amalgamation is the patron/trustees of the schools concerned and it is open to any patron to submit proposals to the department for consideration.

“Any proposed change involves extensive negotiations at local level and must be well planned and managed in a manner that accommodates the interests of students, parents, teachers, local communities, and contributes to an inclusive education system.

“The department has received no formal proposal from the patron/trustees of North Monastery Secondary School, North Presentation Secondary School or St Vincent’s Secondary School.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content

summersoaplogosml

Catch up on the latest episode of Annie May and the Hit Brigade written and read by  Mahito Indi Henderson.

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more