SKET representatives with Cllr Mark Wall and TD Joan Burton
The existing second level schools serving the South Kildare will not be able to cope with projected student numbers in the future.
A report commissioned by the South Kildare Education Together campaign group expects big increases in the school going population.
SKET is campaigning for a new second level school and it says its figures — based on Central Statistic Office numbers — demonstrate the need to expand “second level school options in the region”.
SKET's report has been presented to local TDs and to the Minister for Education. It sets out concerns relating to school capacity, projected future demand and the region's increasingly diverse population. The Department of Education believes that while the school planning areas in the region are experiencing some demographic growth, the level of growth and the rate of year-on-year increase “is not to the extent that would currently warrant the provision of new additional schools at this point”.
However the SKET campaign believes the demand is already there and has reiterated its call for a meeting with the Department of Education.
The report indicated that the south Kildare region, which takes in Newbridge, Kildare town, Kilcullen, Nurney and parts of Athy, saw an increase of 16% in the 13 to 18 year old age group between 2011 and 2016, which is twice the national growth — and this is expected to jump to 24% between 2016-2025.
SKET's Paula Carroll said it has over 2,500 names of children whose parents want an Education Together-run second level school in the area.