Drogheda ETSS to stay at its current site

Educate Together is delighted to confirm that Drogheda Educate Together Secondary School will stay on its current site on Mill Road for the 2021/2022 school year and will not now be relocated to a site on Rathmullen Road.

It is understood that the Department of Education has reached agreement in principle to purchase a permanent site for the school which incorporates its current temporary site on Mill Road, so that a permanent building can be constructed at the school’s current location.

Educate Together, as patron of the school, has been in regular contact with the Department of Education and the Drogheda ETSS board of management in relation to the school’s location and accommodation in recent weeks.

Educate Together would like to acknowledge the significant efforts of all those who have worked to find this solution for the school, and in particular the Department of Education; the purchase of this site will facilitate the development of the school in its current location and benefit the local community in East Meath for decades to come.

Educate Together is also grateful to Louth and Meath Education and Training Board and the management of St Oliver’s Community College for offering to provide space for the temporary relocation of Drogheda ETSS, which will now be no longer necessary.

Thanks are also due to the school’s Board of Management, and to the families, students, staff, public representatives and members of the community who made their voices heard on the need to keep Drogheda ETSS in its local community.

Speaking about this announcement, Educate Together CEO Emer Nowlan said:

“This is wonderful news for Drogheda Educate Together Secondary School, which can now continue to grow and develop in its current location, becoming a thriving school serving the community in East Meath. It is particularly welcome news for students in the school and their families, for whom the uncertainty of recent weeks has been unsettling.”

Challenges for new and developing schools

Educate Together is very conscious of the challenges for new and developing schools operating in temporary accommodation. The organisation is committed to working with the Department and other stakeholders to improve current systems and process to ensure that suitable temporary and permanent accommodation is provided for schools in a timely fashion.

Considerable improvements are required in our planning systems so that school communities have certainty in relation to their accommodation much sooner, and so that they do not have to move multiple times. In this regard, Educate Together continue to call for a cross-departmental review of the wider planning processes around school buildings and school sites.