The Department of Education and Science has indicated that the patronage of the proposed new second-level school in Lucan has been placed under review. The current patronage, allocated to the VEC, has been withdrawn. Educate Together, who made the first application for patronage in January 2008, has welcomed the decision.
Paul Rowe, Educate Together CEO stated ‘This is a most welcome development. The Department plans to conduct a review as part of a broader review of second-level patronage. It is our hope that the expressed preference of a substantial number of Lucan parents for an Educate Together second-level school will be a decisive factor in this review.’ Educate Together runs five primary schools in the locality which will turn out 300 new second-level pupils a year when at full capacity. The vast majority of these parents want their children to continue their education under the multi-denominational ethos of Educate Together. Local parent action groups have been lobbying to this end since 2002. Chair of the group, Carol Dunne, stated ‘We are absolutely delighted. We have fought so long to be heard. Even after the original announcement of VEC patronage we didn’t give up. We will continue to keep active until an Educate Together second-level school has been formally confirmed in Lucan’. Educate Together runs 56 primary schools nationwide. It has applied for second-level patronage for schools in Waterford and Gorey as well as in Lucan. Its ‘Blueprint’ for second-level education was published in 2008. This model proposes significant reform of the current system and has been welcomed by educationalists as the way forward.
Recent calls for an overhaul of second and third level education in Ireland have been made by a number of industry commentators concerned at the quality of graduate the current system produces. Educate Together hopes that the Department will favour their patronage proposal for Lucan and open a new chapter in Irish education â just as the Dalkey School project did at primary level 33 years ago.
For further information or to arrange an interview with Paul Rowe contact
Educate Together Communications Manager
Tel: +353 1 429 2500