Three secondary schools are planned to amalgamate

By Maurice Garvey

THE amalgamation of the three secondary schools in Ballyfermot is set to go ahead, with the opening of one new school in September 2022.

St Dominic’s College, Caritas College and St John’s College are the schools involved.

stjohns1 compressorSt John’s College is one of three secondary schools set to amalgamate

The Echo covered the news in January 2019, when parents first heard of the proposal.

At the time, local sources indicated a lack of enrollment to be an issue.

However, with the loss of De La Salle boys school last year, a big concern for parents in Ballyfermot now will be the lack of a single sex school in the community.

This will be a more pressing issue in the years ahead with the population set to increase.

The patrons of the three schools, Le Chéile and CEIST, sent out a letter to parents this week, outlining the plans.

They said the Department of Education and Skills were involved in decision-making process over the last 12 months, and all three sites were visited, surveyed and evaluated.

St John’s was deemed to be the most appropriate site for a new school, following a meeting last week between the patrons, the Dept, the Dominican Sisters and De la Salle Brothers.

Caritas was ruled out at an early stage as being too confined.

According to the letter, the Dept’s principal criteria was room for existing buildings to be extended to cater for 750 pupils, adequate playing areas and pitches, multiple entry/access points, and capital investment for extensions and renovations.

It stated: “We recognise that this decision will be a difficult one for different reasons for all three school communities, who have, over the past 50 plus years provided excellent education to the boys and girls of Ballyfermot.

“However, as three separate schools, we are no longer in a position to provide the equality of access for all boys and girls in the area to the wider educational opportunities and facilities required for the next 50 years.

With the amalgamation of these three great traditions, a whole new exciting opportunity lies before us to shape the future of education in the area.”

The patrons will put into place a new committee to oversee and implement the amalgamation, with a view to the committee beginning work early in March.

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