January 18, 2021
News

Students numbers to be reduced as North Wicklow Educate Together Secondary School to relocate to old Ravenswell building

North Wicklow Educate Together Secondary School (NWETSS) is to relocate from its current home to the old Ravenswell building on the Dublin Road from September 2020.

This will force the school to cap enrolment at 360 students, which amounts to 60 per year group, a figure well down on what they had anticipated.

According to NWETSS, the building will be updated to allow a full range of Leaving Certificate and specialist subjects to be offered.

“Although better than our current location, this is an adequate solution pending the construction of a permanent building,” Principal Jonathan Browner told WicklowNow.ie.

“The absence of sporting facilities means that the Department of Education will have to finance and arranges for offsite provision of physical education and sport.”

Mr Browner also on all politicians to wait on the department masterplan before making ill-informed comments on the matter.

The school is currently housed in the old Presentation College Junior School building on the Putland Road since it opened in August 2016 following in an agreement between the Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board and the Department of Education and Skills.

This building is owned by a private individual who leases the building to KWETB and the building is now on the open market.

The permanent location of the school has be hotly debated in recent months with plans to co-locate it on the grounds of Bray Institute of Further Education (BIFE) drawing criticism.

In November 2018, students, teachers and parents marched on the Dail demanding a permanent  home for NWETSS.

In a statement released by the school, Principal Jonathan Browner made the following comments:

Despite the school’s best efforts to keep our permanent location issue out of the election cycle, there have been a number of unfortunate instances of leaflet drops, opinion pieces and ‘news.’ We don’t know the source of these leaflets.

The Wicklow Times contained images of two large buildings which cast shadows on houses nearby and which bear no resemblance to any plans seen by the school.

The same article raises the issue of ‘showers and sports facilities being shared by adults and children;’ an irresponsible claim to say the least. Billy Timmins also published an opinion piece despite never having visited our school or hearing our story.

You are strongly requested to push every politician and electioneer calling to your door for their support in relation to our permanent accommodation. Please underline your absolute frustration and disbelief.

The Board of Management of NWETSS remains delighted at the plans of the DES regarding the colocation.

Please remind politicians that they can’t possibly have seen plans and that they should therefore keep their opinions to themselves unless they would like the country to return to a time when planning decisions were all made by politicians.

Remind them that there are planning laws in the country and that decisions are made on the basis of legislation and not moral indignation or populism.

We remain committed to working with all stakeholders in Bray but would REALLY appreciate your help in contacting simon.harris@oireachtas.ie, john.brady@oireachtas.ie, andrew.doyle@oireachtas.ie, pat.casey@oireachtas.ie, and stephen.donnelly@oireachtas.ie

We would also REALLY appreciate you expressing your distaste at the leafleting going on and at the low level of debate.

Jonathan Browner

Principal

 

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