Educate Together say stance on school is "unconscionable"

Fri, Aug 28, 2015

The school given to Educate Together to open in Castlebar. Photo: Keith Henegahan

Educate Together announced on Wednesday evening that its planned new national school for Castlebar would now not be opening, just days before it was due to open for the first time. The educational organisation said up until Wednesday, it was ready to go ahead and open the school in temporary accommodation, but was given an ultimatum by the Department of Education and Skills that it must accept the accommodation in the old national school in the Burren, outside Castlebar, or postpone the opening of the school.

A statement issued by Educate Together said: "The overwhelming majority of parents have told us that they will not send their children to Castlebar ETNS if it means accepting that the Burren is their ultimate intended school premises. Therefore, given the limited options available to us, we have decided under duress to defer the opening of Castlebar ETNS until 2016, pending a full review of the accommodation options and possibilities for the school in a more central location in the Castlebar area for 2016."

The statement continued: "It is unconscionable to demand that anxious parents of vulnerable four and five-year-olds travel over 45 minutes to their first school that is neither warm nor welcoming with inadequate facilities for learning, play, and recreation. It is outrageous to expect these children to learn and create positive memories of their first years at school in such conditions. Educate Together refuses to be party to such demands and expectations."


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