Ireland’s newest Educate Together school opened today to its first cohort of 27 Junior Infants. The school is temporarily located in The Red Door School in Monkstown Grove off Monkstown Ave while the Department of Education and Skills sources permanent accommodation.
Welcoming the children and parents to the school this morning Principal Anne Marie Lillis said:
“It is a very exciting day here today for the children, parents and families of Dún Laoghaire Educate Together National School. I am looking forward to working in partnership with our local community to nurture and develop an inclusive, happy school environment for the children starting with us here today and for the children who will join us in the years ahead. Together we will ensure that each child is enabled to achieve and learn to the best of their ability.”
Said Katie O’Brien, parent of Finn, Junior Infant at Dun Laoghaire ETNS:
“We are delighted, and Finn is very excited to be starting his primary school journey in the very first Dún Laoghaire Educate Together Junior Infants class. We have spent time together, digging and planting in the garden of our lovely temporary location, next to the Red Door School for the next year. We are looking forward to working with all the local stakeholders to find permanent site for the new school in the Dun Laoghaire area.
While Dún Laoghaire ETNS is the only Educate Together school opening in 2017, at least four new Educate Together schools will open in 2018: a national school will open in Dublin South City and three second-level schools in Malahide/Portmarnock and Firhouse in Dublin and in Limerick.
In addition this year, significant expansion of capacity of existing Educate Together schools is taking place with new buildings and renovations being completed this Autumn:
- Midleton ETNS, Co Cork – the school is moving into a new 24 classroom building which will allow it to grow into a full three-stream primary school. Midleton ETNS opened in 2008 and has occupied two temporary buildings since then.
- Limerick Educate Together NS, Limerick City – the school is into a brand new 16 classroom school on the site of the old Mungret College. Limerick ETNS opened in 2004 and since then has occupied two temporary homes.
- Firhouse ETNS, Dublin 24 – the school is moving into a brand new 16 classroom school at the end of September. Firhouse ETNS opened in 2013 in temporary accommodation. Firhouse ETNS has been in pre-fab buildings since it opened in 2013.
- Castlebar ETNS, Co. Mayo – the school is to be relocated in Marsh House in the centre of Castlebar Town. Marsh House is the former municipal headquarters of Castlebar Urban Council. Castlebar ETNS opened in 2016 under the Government’s divestment process.
- Letterkenny ETNS project – the school is moving into a new three storey 24 classroom school building including new autism facilities. Letterkenny ETNS has been in pre-fab buildings since it opened in 2006.
- Mullingar ETNS – the extension of this school will bring Mullingar ETNS up to a 24 classroom school and a doubling of its autism facilities. Mullingar ETNS was established in 2004.
Many of these schools have been campaigning for years for suitable accommodation and these developments are a huge step forward and a great morale boost to the schools’ boards of management, staff, parents and children.