Parents of children in Milltown struggling to find any school place speak to Shane Coleman on the Pat Kenny Show. With a birth rate that has trebled since the last school was closed in 1995 and surrounding schools already oversubscribed, the families and community need a solution.
Clodagh and Alan spoke to Shane Coleman this morning on The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk 106-108FM about the campaign to date and the hope of the Milltown School Initiative to achieve a School as soon as possible in Milltown. The Pat Kenny Show has an audience of 180,000 so it was a great platform for the Milltown School Initiative and for the project to be heard by the whole nation!
Clodagh and Alan outlined the difficulty experienced by all parents in the area of getting a Primary School place for their child, including a member of the group who had applied to 10 National Schools for September 2014 and had received no offers of a place anywhere. Alan also outlined the stark demographic swing to a high birth rate number in the area since 2000, with an average number of 64 births per year (at the CSO census date in 2011) which the presenter Shane Coleman noted as the required numbers to fill not one but two Junior Infant classes.
Brian Mooney, Education Correspondent with the Irish Times also joined the interview and commented on the uniqueness of the situation in Milltown, in that once the old School was removed, houses and apartments were built in its place with no thought of where the residents might go to school!
Brian also spoke about the role of the religious orders and Educate Together historically and their involvement in Schools, and the potential of a Community National School (CNS) in the area. He re-iterated the point that the government funds and provides buildings and maintenance for a school however there needs to be a Patron in place to manage the school, as this is one area that the Department of Education and Skills don’t get involved in. Clodagh and Alan noted that the City of Dublin ETB (CDETB) has indicated they will support the establishment of a School in the area, providing for a place that children can be educated alongside their neighbours- somewhere they can walk to and a place the Community can grow from.
Sincere thanks to Newstalk and the great team on the Pat Kenny show, and to Shane Coleman and Brian Mooney for their significant contributions.