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January 28, 2020
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February 15, 2020

Latest press release from Social Democrat election candidate Jennifer Whitmore, issued on Thursday, January 23rd 2020…

Social Democrats General Election candidate for Wicklow Cllr. Jennifer Whitmore has called on the Department of Education to act quickly to secure the land for the new secondary school proposed for Greystones/Kilcoole.

Whitmore says, “For a while now, land owned by Cairns in Charlesland has been earmarked as the site for a new secondary school. Recently, the Department has awarded the patronage for the new school to the Kildare Wicklow Education Training Board. This land needs to be purchased by the Department of Education before works can commence on the new build.

“I’m calling on the Minister to act and progress immediately with securing the site so that the process of setting up the new permanent build for the school can begin. It is envisaged that the new school will open in temporary accommodation in September 2020, but the demand for secondary school places in Greystones and surrounding areas is so great that it will be important that a permanent building is operational as soon as is practically possible.

“This is a major issue on the doors. Parents are very concerned over how long their children are expected to wait before they can finally sit behind new school desks. Naturally enough, parents want to keep the time their children spend in temporary accommodation to a minimum. Unfortunately, this issue is not restricted to the school in Greystones, as other schools are left languishing in temporary accommodation for far too long, as is the case with the North Wicklow Educate Together in Bray. All children deserve to be educated in premises that are fit for educational purposes and that allow the school community to grow and develop.

“Government policy needs to reflect the growing demand for secondary school places in Wicklow. I want to see national policy reflect the educational needs of places seeing an increase in population which is the case for this part of Wicklow.

“I know from working as a Councillor that demand is only set to increase. A considerable number of children didn’t get into Colaiste Chraobh Abhann in Kilcoole for example, and this reveals the extent of the lack of secondary school provision in this part of Wicklow.

“Demand is growing in other areas as well, for example in Newtownmountkennedy and Roundwood, and we need to ensure that the educational needs for surrounding areas is sustainably met in forthcoming years.

Whitmore concluded, “I’m calling on the Minister to alleviate concerns for local parents and secure land so that building works can commence as soon as possible.”