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Nine new Educate Together schools opening this week only 'scratching the surface'

The schools will open in Cork, Dublin, Mayo and Wicklow.

Image: Shutterstock/Kekyalyaynen

NINE NEW EDUCATE Together schools are opening this week, four primary schools and five secondary schools.

The schools will open in Cork, Dublin, Mayo and Wicklow – marking the second highest total number of schools to open in one year in Educate Together’s history. Twelve national schools opened in 2012.

The nine new schools will bring the total number of Educate Together school in Ireland to 90 – 81 primary and 9 secondary.

In 2011, the then Education Minister Ruairi Quinn had plans that involved fifty schools being divested. However, only eight have been divested up until now.

Educate Together spokesperson Luke O’Shaughnessy told TheJournal.ie, “Just a handful of Educate Together schools have opened up in divestment areas to date.

This level of progress barely scratches the surface of what needs to be done to provide the basic right of parents to access a school of choice.

Minister for Education Richard Bruton has recently committed to 400 multi and non denominational schools by 2030.

New schools 

The second level schools are: Bremore Educate Together Secondary School in Balbriggan; Clonturk Community College in Whitehall, Dublin (in partnership with City of Dublin ETB); Cork ETSS; North Wicklow ETSS and Stepaside ETSS.

This is the highest number of second level schools that Educate Together has opened in one year.

The four new national schools are: Broombridge ETNS, Grace Park ETNS and Riverview ETNS in Dublin, and Castlebar ETNS in Co. Mayo. Broombridge ETNS and Grace Park ETNS will open in response to growing demographic demand for school places. Riverview ETNS and Castlebar ETNS open as part of the divestment process.

Nikki Murphy is a member of the Riverview ETNS start-up group and mother of Reuben, one of the school’s first junior infants, she said:

I feel very lucky that my son Reuben can attend an Educate Together school in the community. I’ve no doubt he will be happy and enjoy learning here.

“There is no doubt either that Riverview will be another hugely popular and over-subscribed Educate Together school in south Dublin. Hopefully there will be lots more to follow.”

Schools in Arklow, Ballina, Clonmel, Cobh, Dungarvan, Fermoy, Kells, Killarney, Leixlip, Loughrea, Nenagh, Palmerstown/Dublin 10, Passage West, Shannon, Westport and Whitehall are still waiting to be divested.

Talks have begun in the 18 areas that are scheduled to receive Educate Together national schools.

Read: Here is how Ireland’s bishops responded to being asked to hand over their schools>

Read: Mayo councillor objects to Educate Together, calling its schools ‘elitist’>

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