The Department of Education and Skills (DES) has this week communicated to Educate Together that the openings of four Educate Together primary schools in Dublin are to be deferred as they have yet to be certified. The school openings deferred until next Monday 9th September are:
Harold’s Cross ETNS
A new school originally scheduled to open on Monday 2 September on the former site of the Harold’s Cross Greyhound Stadium.
Dublin 13 ETNS
A new school originally scheduled to open on 2 September on the site of Grange Community College, Belmayne.
Killester Raheny Clontarf ETNS
A new school originally scheduled to open on 2 September on the grounds of Suttonians Rugby Club.
Dublin South City ETNS (now renamed Harcourt Terrace ETNS)
Opened in 2018 in temporary accommodation in Griffith Barracks Multi Denominational School on the South Circular Road. Will eventually be located in a new permanent building in Harcourt Terrace. This year was scheduled to move to the former Greyhound Stadium co-located with Harold’s Cross ETNS and originally notified that it would open on 2 September.
A new Educate Together secondary school is also affected:
Dublin North East ETSS
A new secondary school opened on Monday 26 August in temporary accommodation in Belmayne ETNS as initial temporary accommodation on the site of Grange Community College was not ready.
Initially the school openings had been deferred to today, Wednesday 4th September to facilitate completion of works on a least one site and to allow for the issuing of Building Control (Amendment) Regulations certification (BCAR) by Dublin City Council to the others. BCAR certification applies to construction projects and ensures compliance with State building regulations including planning, structure and fire safety.
Educate Together recognises and shares the deep frustration and inconvenience faced by the families, staff and wider school communities involved. No school community should be placed in this difficult situation. This is a particularly disappointing situation for Junior Infant children and their families to find themselves in.
It should be pointed out that as these are Government construction projects. Neither Educate Together nor the Managers and Principals of the schools have had any role or responsibility for their delivery. The necessary certifications can only be completed by the Department of Education and Skills and their contractors. However, lack of communication from the DES with Educate Together and the Principals of the schools in question has exacerbated the stress caused by the delays.
Educate Together has consistently raised concerns with DES officials around the short timeframes involved in announcing and subsequently opening new schools. Concerns have been put to the DES on the delays in the scheduling of works and on the timing of planning applications.
Last week, Educate Together publicly communicated its concerns around the fact that all twelve of Educate Together’s new schools opening in 2019 will open in temporary accommodation. Unfortunately this concern has been vindicated yet again. Educate Together’s detailed concerns and proposed suggestions for addressing the issue can be read here
Educate Together is seeking commitments that 2019 is the last year that new school communities are faced with uncertainty, disappointment and inconvenience around school openings and will be seeking formal assurances that arrangements around accommodation for the nine new schools announced for 2020 are properly planned, fit for purpose and already commenced.