Educate Together welcomes Minister Foley’s announcement today that delayed school building projects are now set to resume.
The Department of Education announced last month that 58 school building projects due to go to construction were placed on hold due to increased construction costs, including six new buildings for Educate Together schools in Dublin and Louth: Shellybanks ETNS, Sandymount ETSS, Harold’s Cross ETNS, Harold’s Cross ETSS, Malahide Portmarnock ETSS and Ardee ETNS.
Educate Together immediately expressed serious concerns in relation to delays and has been calling for the projects to proceed to tender and construction as a matter of urgency.
The resumption of these projects as announced this afternoon will come as a welcome relief for our school communities. The delays experienced in these projects have caused considerable concern and uncertainty for students, staff, and parents alike. Educate Together commends the Minister for Education for securing the continuation of the Department’s school building programme.
Educate Together understands that the Department will update each school individually in relation to the next steps in respect of the delivery of their buildings. We are confident that the resumption of these building projects will have a positive impact on our schools and on the wider education sector.
Welcoming the decision, Emer Nowlan, CEO of Educate Together said:
“The announcement today is very welcome. This pause has caused considerable issues for many school communities around the country. We are calling on the Department of Education and planning authorities to accelerate progress across the school building programme now so that the back-log that has been created can be cleared and schools in temporary accommodation can move into their permanent buildings as quickly as possible.”
Educate Together will continue to advocate for our school communities and to work closely with the Department and other stakeholders to ensure that the children and young people in our schools can learn in modern, appropriate and safe educational facilities.
Educate Together is the representative body for 96 primary and 21 second-level equality-based schools across Ireland and has been a leading provider of new primary and post-primary schools in Ireland over the past ten years, opening more than 50 new schools in the past 10 years. There are currently 29 primary and 14 second-level Educate Together schools in temporary accommodation awaiting permanent buildings. Further information about Educate Together schools can be found on www.educatetogether.ie
An ESRI study published in 2021 identified negative impacts for students and school leaders of prolonged periods in temporary accommodation and Educate Together has been seeking greater certainty and quicker access to permanent buildings for all new and developing schools for some time.
As a school patron, Educate Together has opened more than 50 schools in the past ten years in response to parental demand. Five permanent Educate Together school buildings were handed over in 2022/23: Malahide Portmarnock Educate Together NS (phase one), Pelletstown Educate Together NS, Ballinteer Educate Together NS, Cherrywood Educate Together NS, Douglas Rochestown Educate Together NS.