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24/09/2021

Parents stressed over lack of Newbridge school places

Urgent need for new school

Parents stressed over lack of Newbridge school places

File photo

Parents are stressed over a lack of second level school places in the wider Newbridge area according to Sen Fiona O’Loughlin.

Sen O’Loughlin, Chair of the Oireachtas Education and Skills committee, said she has been contacted by many parents and their stress is palpable.

Sen O’Loughlin has pointed out the urgency of providing school places in Newbridge and Kildare town to Education Minister Norma Foley “both in mainstream and for those with special educational needs.”

Sen O’Loughlin added: “The minister acknowledged that the Department of Education is aware of increasing pressures and demands both in mainstream and for those with special educational needs and is working to solve their problem.”

A commitment has already been given to replace the Curragh Post Primary School.

This will facilitate 1,000 students and will also address demand for school places in Kildare town, Newbridge, Athgarvan, Milltown and Suncroft.

Negotiations to secure a site are at an advanced stage.

However, Sen O’Loughlin is worried about the places available in the interim. This will be partly met by an additional first year class at St Conleth's Community College, Newbridge, which will bring capacity to 1,000. Both Cross and Passion College, Kilcullen and the Patrician Secondary School will also increase their intakes, said Sen O’Loughlin.

The need for the 1,000 student school has been highlighted by a number of politicians.

Cllr Kevin Duffy told a Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board meeting last November that there is a lack of school places “in Kildare town, Newbridge and back to Athy”.

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