BREAKING: Campaigners for second level South Kildare Educate Together school threaten to pull out of talks with KWETB

Clarification on proposal

Niamh O'Donoghue

Reporter:

Niamh O'Donoghue

Email:

niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

BREAKING: Campaigners for second level South Kildare Educate Together school threaten to pull out of talks with KWETB

The campaigners in action last year

Campaingers for a new second level Educate Together school in South Kildare (SKET) have threatened to pull out of talks with the Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB) unless they get clarifcation on the proposal.

SKET says its support for the joint patronage project will be withdrawn if urgent clarifications regarding the original proposal are not forthcoming.

In a SKET statement released today, it said;

“The campaign is very concerned that an understanding regarding a new school partnership has been unilaterally abandoned by the KWETB. A different proposal regarding amalgamating the new school into the existing St. Conleth’s school was subsequently reported in the media and confirmed by Sean Ashe of the KWETB on KFM (Tuesday 30 January).”

The group said this new departure is completely at odds with what was discussed and agreed at a meeting held in January, where the KWETB signalled its agreement that there was demand for a new school in the area.

The statement reads:

“In order to meet this demand, the KWETB proposed a partnership with Educate Together that would: 

1. Jointly make the case for demand for the new school to the DES

2. Develop the new school on a greenfield site near Newbridge

3. Operate the new school along the lines of a joint patronage partnership model currently used in Clonturk (Dublin) and Ballymakenny (Louth)

The Campaign agreed to the proposed partnership, which was agreed to and ratified by the Campaign supporters at a meeting on 25 January.

At no stage was St. Conleth’s mentioned as part of this proposed partnership.

We are very concerned that the new school proposal has been abandoned in favour of a plan to assimilate the proposed Educate Together secondary school into an established school.

The campaign have not been formally notified that the proposal has changed, and have only been made aware of this through media sources.

The model outlined by KWETB is not how they and the Educate Together Campaign had agreed to proceed. It does not meet the demand and choice required by our families and students. It is not a model we find realistic, feasible or fair to the hundreds of families who need a new school.

We thank Educate Together for their continued support of our campaign, and we would be very happy to work with KWETB on a new school project. As such, we hope that the planned meeting of both parties takes place as a matter of urgency.

We cannot however condone the current plan, and will withdraw the support of our campaign unless immediate clarification of the terms of the original proposal is forthcoming.”