herald

Thursday 23 January 2020

Pupils may be spared 20km bus trip while school is built

Kishoge Community College
Kishoge Community College

The Department of Education is rowing back on a plan to transport pupils on a 20km daily round trip to another Dublin school while they wait for their own to be built.

Griffeen Community College, in Lucan - already in its third year of temporary accommodation - was told this week that, from September, pupils would be bussed to another location 10km away.

Permanent

The decision caused outrage within the college community, and the parents' council held a meeting last night, to which local politicians were invited.

Since opening in 2017, Griffeen CC has occupied a number of classrooms on the floor of another local school, Kishoge Community College, whose own numbers are filling up.

While a permanent home is some way off, the 140-pupil Griffeen CC was expecting to move to stand-alone temporary accommodation in September, on the site of the nearby Carline Learning Centre.

But on Tuesday school co- patron Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board (DDLETB) told principal Rachel McGrath of a change of plan.

In a letter to parents, Ms McGrath said the Department of Education had decided that the school would be accommodated in the 600-pupil Kingswood Community College in Tallaght, 9-10km away.

She was told the bussing to Kingswood would continue for 12-24 months, depending on the time needed to acquire a permanent site and build a new school.

Describing the news as "very disappointing", she said it represented a "significant U-turn in the department's planning".

But a spokesperson for Education Minister Joe McHugh said that the department would "re-evaluate options to accommodate the school in September and remained open for discussions with DDLETB, local school management and principals".

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