54 New Secondary School Spaces For East Cork But More Are Needed

By Seamus Whelehan

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The Cork Education and Training Board (ETB) is to provide over 50 additional second level places to help cope with a chronic shortage of school spaces.
Communication seen by the East Cork Journal shows that the Cork ETB is to provide 54 additional secondary school places this school year.
Twenty four new enrolment spaces are being provided at St Colman’s Community College, with 30 spaces at Carrigtwohill Community College.
The news comes as frustrations reach boiling point as hundreds of sixth class students, due to transition into second level, are left without a place.
According to figures provided to Deputy Pat Buckley nearly 200 children are unable to attend their local secondary school this coming year.
Admission rules that prioritise the children of past pupils, and high birth rates in recent years, mean that 150 additional school spaces are needed to keep up with the baby boom.
Deputy Buckley is to raise the problem of chronic shortage of places with Minister Joe McHugh when the Dáil sits later today.
The Sinn Féin spokesperson for Mental Health and Wellbeing says, while he welcomes the latest development, dozens of East Cork students are facing into a summer of uncertainty.
“Midleton has grown in population very rapidly over the last 10 years, and is probably the fastest growing town in Cork at the moment.”
“No child should be left behind. No child should have to worry about gaining a place in school. Every child is entitled to an education and should not experience such anxiety and stress”, Deputy Buckley said.
He said “parents are extremely stressed as they can’t find a place locally for their children. These children are possibly 12 years of age, are very sensitive, and it is affecting their mental health.”
CField Construction has commenced works on the completion of the extension to St Colman’s Community College, following the collapse of the Sammon Group in 2018.
Phase One of the construction programme is expected by September, with full completion by December 2020.
Following the completion of St Colman’s Community College project the school will have a further 32 classrooms, which will increase capacity by 500 students.
In a letter, Denis Leamy Cork ETB said “the three year plan to deliver temporary accommodation for Carrigtwohill Community College, as outlined in previous communication, is a progress on schedule.”

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