Four new Educate Together schools are opening this year bringing the total number nationwide to 35. All four schools have opened after many months of dedicated hard work by the Boards of Managements, parents and staff. In many cases, extraordinary efforts have been made by volunteers right through the summer holiday period in order to ensure a smooth start to the school year.
The new schools join a rapidly growing family of multi-denominational schools in the country. Overall more than 600 new places in the sector are being filled this week together with 30 new teaching posts.
This September will also see the opening of a new purpose-built 16-classroom school for Griffeen Valley ETNS which has managed to move from scout den to new building in a record three years.
The four new schools are as follows:
Castaheany Educate Together N.S.
The rapidly expanding suburbs of Ongar and Castaheany in Dublin 15 are facing a schools crisis. The Castaheany ETNS has been established to address this need but there continues to be serious difficulties in sourcing accommodation in the area. Schools have not been built whilst houses have been constructed and sold. As an interim solution the Board of Management have secured temporary use of classrooms in the new Griffeen Valley Educate Together N.S. building in Lucan. Over 60 children are enrolled in Castaheany Educate Together N.S. and all the necessary arrangements to transport them to Lucan every morning have been made. It is hoped that their desired school site in Ongar Village will be ready in the near future. Castaheany Educate Together N.S. will open on September 8th. Marie Gordon, who is a teacher with wide experience of Educate Together schools and SStart-up situations, has been appointed Principal.
Limerick City East Educate Together N.S.
Limerick City East Educate Together N.S. received approval to open in 2003 but unfortunately were not able to go ahead as planned, due to accommodation difficulties. They have now secured temporary accommodation in Young Munster Rugby Club in Rosbrien. Limerick City East Educate Together N.S. are delighted to have exclusive access to this modern building and are thrilled to see their school finally becoming a reality. Pauline Ryan, a teacher with many year’s experience teaching in the city, has been appointed Principal of the new school.
Mullingar Educate Together N.S.
Mullingar Educate Together N.S. will also open in temporary accommodation in their local rugby club. Parents will have to stack away the school furniture every Friday but in spite of this are very happy with their achievement. 25 children are enrolled in the school and Mullingar Educate Together N.S. have appointed Róisín Nic Tighearnáin as their Principal. Róisín is a native of Mullingar and has wide experience in the National School system. She is also a member of the INTO Education Committee.
Tullamore Educate Together N.S. Tullamore Educate Together N.S. is opening in renovated school accommodation in Church Street, Tullamore town. This accommodation has been made available to the school at short notice and the Board of Management are very grateful for the support they have received from the County Council and local interests. Currently there are 20 children enrolled in the school and the Board has appointed Violet Barnwell as Acting Principal.
Both Tullamore Educate Together N.S. and Mullingar Educate Together N.S. represent the sector’s first schools in the midlands region and all signs indicate that both will grow strongly over the next few years.