Educate Together is delighted to announce that Castlebar Educate Together National School will open its doors to Junior Infants this September. The school will be based in Marsh House in the centre of Castlebar.
Castlebar ETNS was originally scheduled to open in 2015 but both Educate Together and local parents believed that the building offered would not suit the needs of families in the area. However in the intervening twelve months the Department of Education and Skills has worked closely with Educate Together to identify a more appropriate premises. Marsh House, built in the 19th century, is the former municipal headquarters of Castlebar Urban Council and is centrally located on Newtown Street on the banks of the town river .
Castlebar ETNS will open as part of the divestment process. This process of reconfiguration was recommended in 2012/2013 by the government-appointed Forum for Patronage and Pluralism to progress the transfer of patronage of a small number of Catholic schools to another patron, such as Educate Together, where there is parental demand to do so.
Said Principal Sarah Calvey
'Castlebar Town is a growing and changing, diverse society and the opening of Castlebar ETNS will provide choice to parents when selecting a school for their child. We thank the Department of Education and Skills for listening to parents and for working with our local council to provide a suitable building centrally located in this the county town of Mayo. We hope to breathe life back into this historic building and to become involved with local community groups in enhancing this part of Castlebar town. It was important that the school opened in the town centre, as parents assumed it would, when they participated in the 2012 patronage survey.'
Said Yvonne Coyne, parent
'As a parent and a Mayo person living in Castlebar, I'm delighted with this news. That we have been given such a prestigious location for our children to begin their educational journey is a bonus. This is a new chapter for this town and its residents. I know the Educate Together School is going to be a great addition not just to the students of this school but of all the schools in Castlebar and the community at large.'
The process of reconfiguration of school patronage in the identified areas is ongoing. A number of areas are still waiting for their divestment schools: Arklow, Ballina, Clonmel, Cobh, Dungarvan, Fermoy, Kells, Killarney, Leixlip, Loughrea, Nenagh, Palmerstown/Dublin 10, Passage West, Shannon, Westport and Whitehall and Educate Together hopes that progress on these schools will be forthcoming in the near future. Educate Together is ready to work with the Department of Education and Skills and the relevant Church authorities to accelerate the provision of school choice to parents in these areas.
Castlebar ETNS joins three Educate Together national schools that will open this year: Riverview ETNS, Broome Bridge ETNS and Drumcondra ETNS in Dublin. Educate Together will also open five second-level schools in Cork, Wicklow and Dublin.