Educate Together is alarmed at the growing crisis for school accommodation in the Donabate/Portrane peninsula.
The Department of Education stated in the Irish Times today it was Educate Together’s responsibility to find a site for our new school in Donabate. This is on one hand misleading and on the other hand a graphic demonstration of the Department’s refusal to take responsibility for the planning of the new schools that are needed in developing areas.
Educate Together, together with the local authority and the Department have found a site. It is the site designated for a new school on the Corballis Road in Donabate. It is marked on the local development plans for all to see. Despite repeated requests over the past year, the Department has consistently refused to enter into negotiations with the local authority for the utilisation of this site, either on a purchase or rental basis. As this
is a site in state ownership in an area in which tens of thousands of housing units are being built, it is difficult to find a justification for this inaction.
Indeed, the Department seems to insist on only addressing these situations when they become a crisis. Parents, children and teachers are all being placed in intolerable situations as a result of this Departmental failure.
The Department continues to hide behind red tape on this issue. The Donabate school is described as only temporarily recognised and this is cited as a reason for the lack of Departmental action. However, the school is currently accommodating 64 children in the second year of operation. This is 13 children more than the criteria state for the third year of operation.
Educate Together calls on the Department to immediately enter into meaningful negotiations with the local authority for the utilisation of the reserved site and respond to the urgent need for additional, inclusive primary school places on the peninsula.