Principal Dolores Burke
The Board of Management at Brannoxtown National School is urging parents to make a conscious decision to send their children to the local school to ensure it’s future.
A public meeting was held in the village last night to devise a solution to save the school due to falling enrollment numbers.
In a statement released yesterday prior to the meeting, speaking on behalf of the Board of Management, Principal Dolores Burke reiterated there are no plans to close Brannoxtown National School.
The Board said there were several reasons for the falling numbers including: “relocating - families moving away; emigration; families returning their children to the school in their locality (e.g. families who live in Kilcullen moving to Scoil Bhríde), moving to other schools for own reasons (e.g. increased opportunities for making friends and the availability of childcare).”
“Brannoxtown National School was a two-teacher school for most of its history. Housing developments in the area did increase numbers for a period. This may happen again,” she said.
It said the school would be reducing in size to a two teacher school in September.
“Moving children to other schools because Brannoxtown N.S. is reducing in size is a ‘Catch 22’ situation,” it said.
It explained that people were exercising their choice and families have other options in the locality.
The Board asked what can be done to solve the situation?
It said parents can make a conscious decision to send or keep children in Brannoxtown N.S.
“A new childcare service is planned for the school and is scheduled to open in September,” read the statement.
The board also suggested that people can encourage or persuade others to enrol their children in the school.
The statement said the school is a “rural, community-based, school serving local primary education needs” in a relaxed, friendly, child-centred atmosphere with modern facilities and resources, and committed staff.
The board said it was a local resource that families would be driving past to go to other schools.
“The Whole School Evaluation report by the Department of Education’s inspector states that teaching in the school is ‘of a high quality’, that the teaching of children with special needs is of a high quality and that the ‘Board should be commended for maintaining and improving this well resourced school’,” added the statement.