From the North County Leader…
The capacity problem at Holy Family Junior National School in River Valley, Swords is set to force new pupils to seek alternative schooling arrangements in September. However, Independent local election candidate, Joe Newman, told the County Leader, that a solution to this problem can be achieved locally, thus preventing young children from leaving their area in search of a school.
Newman said, “The problem arose because of the volume of junior infants in the area, who have made application to attend the school in September, and the refusal of the Department of Education and Skills to sanction a further classroom, which would solve the problem. I have been in contact with Holy Family Senior National School, who have come up with an interim solution to the problem.” He said, “The senior school has the necessary extra capacity to provide the classroom needed by the junior school. Correspondence from the Senior School to the Department of Education, offering their facility, was returned saying, “Having discussed the matter with your school’s Patron (Archbishop of Dublin), I understand that the proposal does not have Patron approval. In that context, the school must not enrol Junior Infants in September 2014 and a change of status is refused,” was the response.
The County Leader then contacted the Patron at Archbishop’s House and was told, “The Department of Education and Skills analysed enrolments in Swords, and based on this analysis found that there was sufficient capacity for Catholic primary education, the Department decided not to sanction an additional teacher for Holy Family JNS. The Diocese Education Secretariat agrees with the decision that there is sufficient space in St. Colmcille’s Girls and Boys Schools to accommodate children who are seeking a place in a Catholic primary school in Swords,” the statement ended.
A furious Newman said that he has been contacted by parents in the area, who will now have to travel over a mile to St Colmcille’s School, in dense traffic, where their children will be segregated by sex. There is also the possibility that children from the same family will be forced to attend different schools. “I am appealing to the Department of Education to allow the Senior School’s offer to stand, or to provide the extra classroom and solve this problem, for once and for all,” he said.