School places Newbridge

Senator Fiona O’Loughlin once more highlights school place shortages in Newbridge

Senator Fiona O’Loughlin, a resident of Newbridge, has once again highlighted the shortage of school places in the town.

Senator O’Loughlin said; “With the stress of a lockdown affecting all Kildare residents this week, it is exacerbating the stress of parents who still do not have a secondary school place for their child for September.  I have been in contact with some very concerned parents whose children are on waiting lists for Newbridge secondary schools with apparently very little chance of securing a place.  One mother told me that her son is very far down a waiting list for his chosen Newbridge school with little chance of securing a place there, and that there are over 100 children on the waiting list of his second-choice school. 

“I have been advocating for a new school for the Newbridge / Curragh / Kildare area for years and I urge the Department of Education to do more to ensure this is secured in 2020.  Last summer, then-Minister Joe McHugh announced a plan for a joint venture between KWETB and Educate Together on the site of the Curragh PPS but a year later, there is no sign of work starting and no solution to the chronic capacity issues faced by schools in South Kildare.  I was assured by Minister McHugh that his department was making every effort to progress the matter when I asked him for the dates of meetings that had taken place between his Department and the Department of Defence during which the location of the site for a school had been discussed.  His review of provision at post-primary level categorically showed the need for a new school and concluded that the expansion of the existing Curragh Post-Primary school would cater for demand arising in the Newbridge school planning area.  A year on and we have no progress made”. 

“The building of houses in the area is being fast tracked with no secondary school places for the children that will live in them.  The situation is very serious and urgent action must be taken by the Departments of Education and Defence to resolve whatever outstanding issues are delaying the building of a new school.  I have been in touch with Minister Foley about the matter and will continue to push for progress to be made”, concluded Senator O’Loughlin.