Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell, recently raised the enrolment issues at primary level schools in Swords directly with the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton in Dáil Éireann.
Raising this matter in the Dáil, Deputy Farrell stated: “I understand that in January the Department provided the local authority with a comprehensive report on the availability of space for the coming year. Regrettably, it has been found that once enrolment was complete in those schools, there were excessive applications in the hundreds throughout the community of Swords.
“The reality of the situation is that it does not appear the Department has adequately catered for educational demand in Swords. As a resident of the town for 13 years I was rather disappointed to learn this, especially having received assurances in writing from the Department in January this year.” continued Deputy Farrell
Following his contribution in the Dáil, Deputy Farrell said “Having had many parents in Swords contact me with concerns regarding securing a school place for their child this September. It is without doubt that serious issues exist regarding the capacity of our local primary schools to accommodate every child in need of a school place in their local community.
“The fact remains, that every child most be provided with a school place for this September, and we must avoid a scenario whereby two children in the same family would be in two different schools. It would simply not be in anyway feasible, given traffic issues alone, to expect a parent to travel between two schools in Swords and make the starting times of both.
“As part of the Fingal Development Plan, there is headroom for the development if up to 10,000 housing units by 2025 in the Swords area, particularly with the development of Metro North over the coming years – this highlights how increasing school capacity must be a priority to cater for the continued population growth in Swords.
“I do not believe the Department of Eduction can accurately determine the amount of school places which will be needed in Swords over the coming years given the amount of development which will take place in our local community.
“The provision of new classrooms and educational infrastructure in Swords must be prioritised in order to ensure this issue does not reoccur in the coming years.
“I will continue to engage with the Minister and his Department on this matter in search of a solution for all families, and a school place this September for children affected.”