The Principal of Tramore Educate Together in County Waterford says the Department of Education’s decision to reduce the school’s pupil intake to ‘half stream’ is scandalous.
The non-denominational school is one of five across the Country which have been advised by the Department to take in just 13 junior infants for the coming year, despite having 29 children pre-enrolled.
Principal of the school Eilis Kelly says parents in County Waterford are being deprived of the opportunity to send their child to the school of their choice:
“We received a letter in December asking us to restrict our numbers for 2018 to a half-stream intake that means taking in only 13 kids instead of a full class of 26. We have 29 children enrolled for September so to turn away 16 kids, 16 parents who have chosen educate together, which should be their right, to choose a school that reflects their ethos, is scandalous”.
The Department of Education, has rejected claims that there is a new policy in place and said that only half-stream classes were authorised.
They say that the schools were set up in areas of stable population growth, on foot of the recommendations of the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism.
A department spokeswoman said surveys of parental demand at the time indicated a long-term projected size of up to half a single stream school was required.
Eilis says that the decision doesn’t make sense given that other schools in the area are full to capacity. “We have people pre-enrolled for the next three years so projected numbers would be that we would be able to take in a full stream for the next three years, which is great. You can see that the school is thriving, Tramore is thriving. The other schools in the town are full to capacity as well, so it just doesn’t make sense.”
A public meeting over the changes to admissions takes place at the School this Friday at 2pm.
A petition calling for the implementation of full stream admissions can be found on the Tramore Educate Together Facebook page.