Fine Gael Kildare South TD Martin Heydon has described as positive, the confirmation from Minister for Education Richard Bruton that Kildare & Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB) and Educate Together have agreed to start discussions in relation to a possible partnership for Educate Together provision at second level in the Newbridge area.  The confirmation came as part of the Ministers announcement of new plans aimed at providing more multi-denominational and non-denominational schools across the Country.

“I have been working with the South Kildare Educate Together (SKET) campaign group since their formation in September 2014. Last year I arranged meetings between SKET and both the Taoiseach and Education Minister Richard Bruton where we highlighted the need for greater provision of choice at second level in South Kildare as well as raising our concerns as to future capacity pressures in the area.

“Earlier this month I facilitated an initial meeting between the SKET campaign and KWETB to examine what partnership opportunities could emerge to assist the campaign.  This announcement of the opening of discussions with the National Educate Together Association and KWETB is a further move in the right direction towards providing the additional choice that many parents in South Kildare have been seeking and I look forward to seeing how these discussions progress.

“We still need to keep working on the area of increased capacity and provision of more ASD units at second level in South Kildare.  The Department of Education has consistently told us that based on their figures they believe that sufficient increased capacity in Kildare South can be provided for from existing schools and extensions to those schools.

“I have told the Minister that the planned extensions to Patrician Boys School Newbridge, CPC Kilcullen and Athy Community College need to be progressed as soon as possible and I am also seeking investment and improved facilities for the Curragh Post Primary School.  All of these projects together with the ongoing extension of St Conleth’s Community College Newbridge will provide additional capacity.

“I will continue to question the Department and work with the Minister to ensure that demand for school spaces in Kildare South is kept under review and that future needs are provided for as they are needed.