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Parents battle for school places

A GROUP of parents concerned about the lack of places in a local secondary school are calling on the Department of Education to add an additional class to the September 2021 intake.

Currently there are only 52 first-year places available in Belmayne Educate Together Secondary School.

This is creating a growing problem of over-subscribing with almost 200 applications received for those places.

Parents of many pupils who have attended the Belmayne ET Primary School have been told there is no room for their children in the secondary school.

Ann Maples’ daughter Lorraine currently attends the primary school.

We live next door to the school, my daughter’s name is down but she doesn’t have a place for next year,” Ann told Northside People.

“If she can’t secure a place it means next year she will have to walk past her friends every morning and hop on a bus to a school a few miles away.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous and makes no sense whatsoever.

“My daughter would be safe and secure in the ET secondary school but it’s looking like this might be denied to her.”

Another local parent deeply concerned by the issue of oversubscribed secondary school places is Charlotte Moore.

“At exactly 9am on the opening enrolment day I applied for a place for my daughter to attend this school in September 2021,” Charlotte told Northside People.

“My husband and I went to several open days the year before and we knew this was the top choice for our daughter.

“Already attending an Educate Together primary school and seeing the focus on the person, we knew we were so lucky to be in the catchment area for an educate together secondary school

“I’m devastated she hasn’t received a place and even more disappointed to know she is 34 on the waiting list.

“The government continues to increase housing in the area with no regard for school places for the children living here.

“There is hard proof that the Educate Together Secondary Schools are sought after and with the size of the area that Dublin 13 is there is no way the current places for this secondary school reflect this.

“The principal has worked hard establishing the school and this has not gone unnoticed by parents in the area which is certainly part of the reason for the high demand.

“Everyone should have the opportunity to go to their local school especially one they feel strongly about their values and ethos.

“We need the department of education to listen and give Belmayne ETSS the capacity it deserves.”

Louise Durham’s daughter has also been in the Educate Together primary system but as things stand there will be no place for her in the secondary school next year.

“I haven’t been told there’s no room for her, only that she’s number 58 on the waiting list,” Louise told Northside People.

“I don’t want her raised in a Catholic school but she might be forced into one.

“I like the non-denominational factor of Educate Together, I like the curriculum.

“Sadly there are extremely limited options for us for next year and it is causing stress.

“The closest non-Catholic school to us is Mount Temple but it’s not in our catchment area.”

Northside People also spoke with the campaigning group ‘Parents for Belmayne Together Secondary School’ who are calling on the public’s support.

“Over 170 applications were received for 52 first year places in Belmayne Educate Together Secondary School,” a spokesperson said.

“It is deeply upsetting for parents who chose the Educate Together ethos for their children’s primary education that their children cannot continue their secondary studies in an Educate Together setting in September 2021.

“We are asking for members of the public to support our campaign to increase the September intake by signing our petition.

“Please click here to sign our petition.”

Northside People contacted the Department of Education but had not received a reply at the time of going to press.

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