Admissions policy is a threat to five schools

I REFER to your report on the admissions policy of Gorey Community School in Co Wexford (Irish Examiner, March 4).

Because of an overcrowding and accommodation problem, the Department of Education has decided to establish a catchment which excludes five national schools in Co Wexford - Coolgreany, Monaseed, Ballyfadd, Ballygarrett and Monamolin.

This catchment area was created in the 1950s but has not been implemented - so much so that the five affected schools assumed they were all part of the Gorey catchment area (as assumed by the school itself for three of the five of them).

Now the department has threatened to cut off funds to the school if it takes so much as one pupil from any of the five affected national schools, even though heretofore there was never a problem accepting them.

All the schools have a Gorey postal address and, for Gaelic games purposes, they all play in the Gorey district.

This is discrimination of the highest order, particularly when the school admissions policy takes in to account those people moving into the area, while excluding natives of the county who have through custom and practice throughout the years attended Gorey CS and, before that, the convent, Brothers and technical schools in the town.

Gorey needs a second secondary school to cater for its ever expanding population. In the interim all we are looking for is the right to send children to school in their own county.

After all, there are only 25-30 pupils annually from the five national schools in question.

If this battle is lost, it will be a major blow to the local community as parents will realise they do not have the option of Gorey CS if they enrol their children in any of the five national schools. Naturally, they will chose a school close by that does qualify, with serious implications for the affected schools. What is happening in Gorey could happen in any expanding town.

Barry Monaghan

Coolgreany

Gorey

Co Wexford

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