At a recent meeting of the Midleton/Youghal Municipal Council Green Party Cllr Liam Quaide received support for a motion to address the growing shortage of secondary school places in East Cork. The motion called on the Dept. of Education to formally assess the need for a secondary school, and having confirmed that need, to quickly initiate a patronage competition. Cllr Quaide said he had discovered through a recent parliamentary question submitted by Catherine Martin, TD that no such formal assessment had taken place. Instead, he said, “there is merely a commitment by the Dept. to an ongoing, ad hoc review. This is not good enough”.
"Many families, Cllr Quaide said, "are anxious about whether secondary school places are going to become available in their locality, and about possibly facing long commutes to school and all the disruption that can bring. It's very clear we have a shortage of secondary school places in East Cork. This is adding significant stress and uncertainty to families as they negotiate the challenging transition from primary to secondary school. It’s really important that young people have continuity and choice in their education."
The Council meeting had earlier received a delegation from Midleton Educate Together Primary School who set out their campaign for a secondary level school under their patronage. Cllr Quaide paid tribute to the ethos of the school: "the growth of Educate Together in Ireland is very much in keeping with the significant social progress we have made over the past twenty years. Its ethos of inclusiveness and sustainability fosters respect for others and respect for difference, as well as a deep connection with nature. It grows the confidence of young people to think for themselves. I am particularly impressed by the involvement of students in the decision-making of their school.” Midleton Educate Together is currently compiling population data for East Cork that will form the basis of their case.