A battle for the patronage of a primary school planned for one of Cork’s largest towns has kicked off.
The Cork Education and Training Board (CETB) announced its intention yesterday to apply for patronage of the new eight-classroom primary school which has been earmarked by the Department of Education for Ballincollig, and which is due to open in 2017.
Efforts are under way to secure a site for temporary accommodation as well as a site for the permanent school building.
Cork ETB’s announcement comes a week after Gaelscoileanna Teo, the national organisation which supports the development of Irish-medium schools, and which is already supporting an application by An Foras Pátrúnachta — Ireland’s largest patron of Irish-medium schools — held an information meeting in the town about their bid to have the new school designated as an Irish-medium multidenominational school.
Ballincollig has a recently built 600-pupil gaelscoil and a second level gaelcholáiste which is an Irish-language unit within the town’s 1,500-pupil Choláiste Choilm secondary school.
CETB is the patron of the second level schools. However, the gaelscoil and the two second-level schools are struggling to provide places for the sheer numbers of pupils applying for places.
CETB said yesterday that following the department’s announcement that it intends to provide a new primary level school in the town, it hopes to establish it as a non-denominational community national school to meet the demands of the town’s growing population and the over-subscription to the existing schools.
CETB is also co-patron with the Diocese of Cork and Ross in Ballincollig Community School, of Community National Schools in Carrigtwohill and Mallow, and of 25 post-primary and colleges across the county.
CETB chief executive, Ted Owens, said they will engage over the coming months in a public information campaign in Ballincollig to outline its patronage plans.
“The proposed CETB patronage benefits to Ballincollig’s community would include a proven track record for the provision of state-funded effective, accountable and high-quality education which it already provides in several schools across Cork,” he said.
“We feel sure the communities of Ballincollig and its hinterland will recognise and appreciate our considerable experience in education, particularly since the Cork Board has been one of the first ETB’s outside of Dublin to introduce the community national school model, with Scoil Aonghusa in Mallow opening in 2014, and Scoil Chlíodhna, Carrigtwohill, which opened in 2015.”
The CorkETB is responsible for 25 post-primary schools and colleges, the Cork ETB School of Music, Music Generation Cork City, the Cork Training Centre in Bishopstown, and three of the largest PLC colleges in the country — Cork College of Commerce, St John’s Central College, and Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa.
The board is also responsible for youth services, including Youthreach, projects for disadvantaged youth, young people’s facilities and services funds, and grants for youth initiatives.
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