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Matthews – Progress is too slow on Greystones Secondary School Place Shortage

Green TD, Steven Matthews has heavily criticised the Department of Education for the slow progress on resolving the long-term shortage of secondary school places in Greystones. Following a meeting organised by Deputy Matthews between Wicklow TDs and senior officials within the Department of Education, Deputy Matthews said:


“The positive news for parents is that following extensive work between the Department of Education and principals in each school, a formal update on how the intake for students for the coming school year will be managed will be issued to parents in the coming weeks.


“While this is welcome progress, it isn’t fast enough and represents a failure in the Department of Education’s forward planning system. Greystones has experienced rapid population growth and the provision of school places has not kept up with that.


“The shortage of secondary school places in Greystones has been a longstanding issue that has impacted countless families in recent years. Each year I have consistently flagged that it wasn’t a one off and required long-term planning rather than the annual scramble that parents and students have to endure each Spring/ Summer.


“Every TD has received multiple assurances that all students that qualify for a place will be accommodated this year but we need a clear plan of action of how this will happen. This also needs to be urgently communicated with all the families impacted as the lack of information and engagement from the Department is causing further unnecessary stress.


“There are long-term solutions available, but it will require the new school building for Greystones Community College and the extensions for Temple Carrig and Coláiste Chraobh Abhann to be prioritised. Each project is at various stages of progress but if we are serious about putting in place a long-term solution, they need to be fast-tracked. There are set processes in place, but I have emphasised the need to work through these steps as soon as possible and avoid weeks/ months of wasted time through administrative box checking and red tape.


“School management and teachers from each of the Greystones schools are doing extraordinary work despite a shortage of space and lack of facilities in some cases. I will continue to work directly with school principals and any family impacted but what is needed is clear communication regarding a plan to ensure that students are accommodated this year and for the school construction projects to be expedited”, concluded Deputy Matthews.



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