Minister of State and Kildare South Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon, has said that delivery of additional secondary school places across Kildare South is a priority for him as he works with local schools, parents and the Department of Education to address capacity pressure in this area. 

“There is significant demand for places in the Kildare Newbridge & Kilcullen areas with schools operating close to capacity, but planned new school builds and extensions for schools in the area will alleviate that pressure in future years.

 “It is very welcome that work has now begun on construction of a new school build for St Pauls in Monasterevin, while a new school for the Curragh Post Primary is awaiting final site selection. I have impressed upon my Ministerial colleague, Norma Foley, the importance of progression of the Curragh PP project as well as the extensions for Patricians Newbridge, CPC Kilcullen and Athy Community College which are at design teams appointment stages.

 “Ensuring these 5 building projects for South Kildare move along as quickly as possible remains a priority for me on behalf of families in Kildare South.

“I am also aware of the concerns of parents who have not yet secured a secondary school place for their children for September 2021 under the first round of offers. I fully understand the frustration and upset of parents and students and their worry for the future.

 “I am confident that many more children will secure places during further rounds of offers from each school, as under the current system many students apply to more than one school, so there is duplication and double counting on the waiting lists. 

From my experience, once each student accepts the places offered and drops off the other lists, more spaces free up. Due to changes that we introduced in the last Government to schools admission legislation, schools ability to share information should also help to speed up this process. 

“I will continue to work with parents and school principals during the year to ensure all children are accommodated.  In future years, I would like to see a more common application system where Kildare South schools would work off the one system so this level of concern and stress is not exacerbated for pupils and their families at this stage of the school year.