Gaelscoil announced for Donabate and Portrane

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Gaelscoil announced for Donabate and Portrane

Post by CommunityCouncil » 03 Sep 2019, 16:55

THE decision that the next primary school to open in Donabate will be a Gaelscoil has been welcomed.
Minister for Education Joe McHugh made the decision following an analysis of the availability of gaelscoileanna in a number of areas of Greater Dublin.
The growing area of Donabate and Portrane already has three primary schools and a secondary school.
Donabate Portrane Community Council has welcomed the decision, which follows the setting up of a committee in Donabate to press for a Gaelscoil for the area by the community council.
The community council convened a meeting in June 2018 to set up a committee to press for a Gaelscoil.
The first meeting of the committee was attended by Cormac MacDiarmada, Gareth Lee and Corina Johnston of Donabate Portrane Community Council. Also at the meeting were Councillor Paul Mulville, Donabate Community School teacher Áine Ní Bhrolcháin and Gaelscoil teacher Lorraine Stafford.
A Facebook page was set up to campaign for the Gaelscoil.
It is now planned that the new Gaelscoil will open in Donabate in 2020, with the location expected to be at Corballis.
A spokesman for Donabate Portrane Community Council said it was delighted its efforts have resulted in a new Gaelscoil for the peninsula.
The new school will complement St Patrick’s Boys School, Scoil Phádraic Cailíní, and Educate Together, and bring to four the number of primary schools in the area.
Fáiltíonn an Chomhairle Pobail Domhnach Bat agus Port Reachrann roimh an gcinneadh seo.
Tabharfaidh an scoil nua so rogha maith do thuismitheoirí agus do leanaí ar an leithinis.
Beimid ag brú lena chinntiú go dtógfar an scoil go tapa.

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Re: Gaelscoil announced for Donabate and Portrane

Post by Séamus Mac Brádaigh » 03 Sep 2019, 17:19

Well done Donabate Portrane Community Council and Councillor Paul Mulville for all the hard work in getting this gaelscoil for Donabate and Portrane. It will make a huge difference to the community. Fantastic to have such great advocates for the community.

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Re: Gaelscoil announced for Donabate and Portrane

Post by Depaor » 15 Nov 2019, 11:49

May I ask if the Departments previously promised democratic patronage process where parents could choose the form of education for their children has now been removed?

One would expect the Minister would honour the Departments original commitment to allow parents a decision on the form of education for our children as was done in last year’s competition, this includes a say on patronage, language and ethos- each impacting on the other.

It is unacceptable that democracy has been removed and the outcome predetermined by the Minister. Many are further aggrieved that the original 16 teacher school has been removed for a school half the size to allow for a niche area reflecting the Ministers personal choice at the cost of school places for our children.

It is gravely concerning how a democratic process has been undone to make way for a Ministers own personal preference and giving a vote and voice to the wider community ignored. There are parents who do not wish for an Irish medium school. They are concerned as they themselves do not have the language and don’t feel capable of navigating their child’s education through it. Others have little or no Irish and have no desire to acquire it or for their children to acquire it, preferring an English medium school. As someone involved in education and Irish-medium education at a senior level in education I’m too aware of the difficulties Gaelscoileanna experience. Staff shortages- difficulties recruiting teachers from a small pool and difficulties retaining them. Newly qualified teachers are deterred as they do not wish to do their induction and planning in these schools. They have difficulties recruiting principals as difficulties with the Irish patron body and parents associated with them are well known in education circles and deter candidates. Gaelscoileanna unfortunately have a reputation, deserved or not, for focusing on the speaking of Irish at the detriment of education.

While predetermining school patronage in order to have a spread of school types on paper may please a spread sheet it is at the cost of democracy and can have a negative outcome. The recent Dublin 1 Gaelscoil which had a push from Irish patrons and lobbyists and was due to open 2019 failed to recruit sufficient numbers and remains closed. If democracy is ignored it comes at a price.

The Department had committed to giving parents a say to express their personal preference for their children’s education, instead this has been stripped to allow for a Ministers personal preference, it is requested that this be reconsidered and for a democratic process to be restored.

The request to restore a democratic process does not preclude from there being a Gaelscoil, if this is the genuine preference of the area this will be respected as should any other school type elected -be it English medium Educate Together/CNS or other.

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Re: Gaelscoil announced for Donabate and Portrane

Post by Ken » 15 Nov 2019, 17:49

I would agree with your position on this. Although my kids are past the stage where we're looking for a primary school, I would have been very unhappy to see that the decision has been made to put a gaelscoil in an area which is deprived of school places and will come under increasing pressure over the coming years as development continues.

Gaelscoileanna should be a choice given to parents as they are a niche requirement. Not everyone wants their children taught through Irish. This choice should be in areas where there are alternative mainstream schools available. Parents shouldn't be put in a situation where the only school place available to them is in a gaelscoil which, no doubt, will be the case on the peninsula.


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