Research Confirms Chronic Shortage of Post-Primary School Places in Newbridge

I have researched the apparent shortage of post-primary school places for the 2014-2015 academic year. The research confirms there are insufficient places for 133 pupils in the coming year in non-fee paying secondary schools.

“Time and again parents have been telling me that their child has been refused a place in a Newbridge secondary school even though they are attending a Newbridge primary school. I researched the issue with the local schools and there is a significant shortage in the number of places available to children moving from primary to secondary school,”

Currently within Newbridge and the surrounding locality there are 553 pupils in the primary schools and following enquiries to all the secondary schools within the town new enrolments for this September will be capped at 420. Some parents are having to resort to sending their children to school in Naas and further. 

 

 

Table showing on-going problem with shortage of post primary schools availability in Newbridge Town

 

Primary Schools in Newbridge and surrounding area

Current 6th class enrolment

Carragh National Schools

60

Scoil Bhride Athgarvan

40

Patrician Primary Newbridge

55

Scoil Mhuire Newbridge

115

Scoil Ba Niamh Uilig (All Saints)

23

St Conleiths and Mary’s

87

Milltown National School

30

Gael Scoil Droichead Nua

53

Educate Together

30

Scoil Naomh Padraig (Curragh BNS)

15

Curragh Girls National School

16

St Patricks (Church of Ireland)

29

 

553

Post-Primary Schools in Newbridge and surrounding area

Anticipated 1st Year Enrolment

Holy Family

120

Patrician Boys

150

Community School VEC

100

Curragh Secondary School

50

 

420

Shortfall in Post-Primary Places

-133

 

My research has indicated that this trend is will continue over the next number of years. That being the case, there will be a need for a new 800 pupil school for the town.

This local analysis is backed up by the CSO who stated in April 2013 that the number of primary school-aged children is projected to increase by up to 100,000 by 2021 and that the mid-east area of Ireland will experience greater growth than even Dublin.

In 2007 there was an acute shortage of places for children starting primary school in Newbridge, with some children not able to start school until the age of 6. These very same children are now moving to Secondary school and some parents are experiencing the same problem for a second time.

One parent was quoted as saying that Newbridge has the right and need for more post-primary places locally and we did not need to be “exporting our children to be educated in its neighbouring towns”.

My 3 children attend the Educate Together School in Newbridge and I understand what parents are going through.

“I will be writing to the Minister for Education to bring this matter to his urgent attention. This shortfall should have been predicted years ago and plans put in place to ensure all children can continue their education in Newbridge. Children have made friends in primary school and to separate them at this crucial step in their education is an anxiety parents and children can do without,”