CONCERNS have been voiced about a lack of available secondary school places for pupils in the Glanmire area.
Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central Thomas Gould and local area representative Mandy O’Leary Hegarty said they had been contacted by a number of families who were concerned that while their children attended primary school in the Glanmire area, they may not be able to attend secondary school there.
Deputy Gould said the issue was a source of upset for parents and families.
“They’re now facing the prospect that they’ll have to travel to school away from their friends and community.
"The reality here is that the department failed to forward plan and build capacity despite knowing these kids were going to primary school in the area and would likely want to attend secondary there too.
With hundreds more houses being developed in Glanmire and surrounding areas, this issue is only going to get worse. I want to be clear here that the schools are trying to manage an impossible situation but without capacity building from the department, families will be left disappointed,” he said.
Deputy Gould recently raised the matter in the Dáíl with the Minister for Education.
Minister Norma Foley said that her department was aware of increasing pressures and demand for additional post-primary school places in a number of school planning areas, including County Cork and is engaging with patron bodies, including those in Cork, to identify particular capacity requirements for the forthcoming year(s) which may necessitate action.
“As the deputy may be aware, my department recently approved an extension to the existing Coláiste an Phiarsaigh. This major project will increase capacity to a 750 pupil post-primary school. The project has been devolved to the Joint Managerial Board (JMB) for delivery. This request is currently being assessed and my department will convey a decision to the school authority when this process has been completed,” she said.
The minister said that pending completion of the building project, the department has approved three general classrooms and a science room through the department’s Framework of Modular Accommodation.
“This project is currently underway and the expected handover is early January 2022. The school has put contingency arrangements in place to make best use of existing accommodation (including accommodation currently rented) until the modular accommodation is ready to be occupied,” she added.