On Tuesday 6th September, Ballinteer Educate Together National School welcomed back more than 400 pupils and staff into a new state-of-the-art school building. In the ten years since the school first opened its doors in 2012, Ballinteer ETNS have been in temporary accommodation, awaiting their building on the permanent site on the grounds of St. Tiernan’s Community College, Balally, Dublin 16.
Over the past decade, a huge amount of work went into making this new building a reality, with the local school community and the school patron, Educate Together, all pressuring the Department of Education and planning authorities to provide the school with a permanent home.
The new school is a two-storey building comprising of 16 mainstream classrooms and a two-base Autism facility, as well as ancillary teacher and pupil facilities. The campus development will also include a two-storey indoor sports facility that will be open to the wider community outside of school hours and term time.
Paul O’Dwyer, Principal
This week marks a significant milestone for the extended Ballinteer ETNS school community as we moved into our permanent building. This achievement follows many years of advocacy by our committed parents and staff, as well as support from Educate Together. We have had the pleasure of welcoming 400 pupils into the new school this week. The excitement among the children was palpable on Tuesday morning (not to mention the staff!). We were particularly happy to welcome our new class of Junior Infant pupils as well as the children in our inaugural autism class. We look forward to the school year that lies ahead as we settle into our new home.
Emer Nowlan, CEO Educate Together:
This impressive school building will enable this developing school community to thrive, and we would like to thank the Department of Education, builders and project managers who worked hard to deliver the building this term despite considerable challenges in the construction sector. We are especially grateful to Robert Cochrane, who has chaired the school’s Board of Management since its establishment ten years ago, providing support and leadership to the school as it has developed.
This school was first announced by the Department of Education in 2011 to cater for the growing population in the area, and it is unfortunate that it has taken ten years to get to this day. Operating in temporary accommodation presents huge challenges for students, staff, parents and local communities, and while this school community has worked hard to thrive, despite these challenges, we are again calling for improvements to our planning systems so that new schools have certainty and high-quality facilities much sooner.