To build a new school for Ballinteer Educate Together National School
This petition had 1,327 supporters
We opened our amazing school in Aug 2012 while we waited for the design & approval process of our new school building to be completed...WE ARE STILL WAITING!
Please support us in activating the Department of Education into building our new school for Ballinteer Educate Together NS...we have officially NO MORE SPACE in our temporary school and health and safety is now a huge issue for our children moving forward...our children deserve better and despite going through the right channels by our BOM & wonderful Principal, being extremely patient plus coming up with solution after solution for the access issue that has plagued us to our school site, we are now forced as The Parents to take serious action - WE ARE JUST BEING IGNORED AND NOW OUR SITUATION IS AN EMERGENCY ONE!
Ballinteer Educate Together National School was first opened, and enrolled its 1st pupils in temporary accommodation at St Tiernans Secondary School back in August 2012 while we waited for the design and approval process of our new school building to be completed. Today, 4 years and 180+ pupils later our staff and kids are still in the same temporary accommodation which is now at full capacity with an ever growing waiting list for new pupils including 2 new Jr infant classes who have just started in September of this year. This strain on space is already having a real impact on daily life at the school as our our new pupil count has now increased to over 230 and much needed resource space has had to be sacrificed to make more classroom space - special teaching lessons now take place in what little hallway and corridor space is left!
Why are we still waiting?
The issues that have created this situation are not budgetary (full financial approval has for our new school was granted in 2012) or related to the planning of the building itself. In reality the reasons we do not have a suitable building for our school seem to be bureaucratic in nature and centre around securing planning permission for road access to the new site. Our initial application was submitted in 2012 and as of today we are no closer to any kind of decision that will help us get our school built.
Sadly it seems that the efforts of the Dept of Education have fallen short and that very few practical steps are being taken by the Dept of Education to resolve these issues. While the board and PTA appreciate that these processes take time, the continued absence of a solution to this problem has resulted in an unacceptable delay which is now beginning to have an adverse affect on the staff and pupils of our school. As our school continues to grow rapidly these affects will only become more serious and its simply a matter of time before our kids educational experience begins to suffer as a result.
What do we need from you?
We need to make some noise! The board of management and the PTA believe the key to getting this stalled process moving again is to put the dept under some real pressure; from the public, media and TDs and this is where we need your help:
1) You can support, SIGN and SHARE this online petition - if you are on Facebook, please LIKE our campaign FB page @BallinteerETNS 'Help Build Ballinteer Educate Together' and share our petition link pinned to the top of this page;
2) Share our campaign Facebook page @BallinteerETNS 'Help Build Ballinteer Educate Together' (and ongoing posts) with your local TD or Richard Bruton TD Minister for Education @RichardBrutonTD and anyone else who you think can positively influence our end goal;
3) You can write or email the Dept of Education directly (a template letter and address details are provided below for you) expressing your dissatisfaction with the situation;
4) Join us in upcoming publicity campaigns: firstname.lastname@example.org
THIS IS OUR LETTER WE HAVE NOW ALL SENT (posted by the children to Richard Bruton TD and Minister of Education):
Richard Bruton, TD
Minister for Education
Department of Education and Skills
Dear Minister Bruton,
I write to you regarding our school, Ballinteer Educate Together National School. Our school opened in temporary premises at St Tiernan’s Community School in 2012. We now have 235 pupils with classes up to third class still in temporary premises. Our building has been delayed due to the issue of an entrance way into the school.
In June of this year, an official from your Department of Education's Forward Planning Section visited our school following a visit from an engineer from your department. Following this visit we understood that a new potential entrance had been identified and a planning application would be submitted. As of now we have had no progress or updates despite several requests for information by ourselves, the School Board and Deputy Catherine Martin.
Our temporary premises are not suited to long-term classroom accommodation. Our first class, of seven year olds, has twenty-seven children in a space of thirty-four square metres. One of our Junior Infants classes has twenty-four children in twenty-four square metres. The classroom guidelines for new schools is eighty square metres per class. Our current classroom sizes do not create a healthy classroom environment as, after tables and chairs, there is barely space to move. This particularly impacts on children with special needs or those who need additional support as there is no resource / learning support rooms and the extra tuition needed by these children has to take place in the corner of our already crowded classrooms or in the small school lobby. We don’t have a sports hall for exercise on rainy days, assemblies or concerts.
Our school has an amazing principal and staff but we are dismayed by the state of the accommodation provided by your Department.
We would appreciate if you could ask your Forward Planning section for an update on our behalf and an expected timeline for the construction of our school building. Parents with siblings starting in September 2017 in particular, along with those on the extensive waiting lists are also concerned about the space issue – there are no more classrooms in which to accommodate two new Junior Infant classes – and whether their children will be able to attend our school.
We would like to invite you to visit our school to understand further the reality of the day-to-day school life here.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to your response.
THANK-YOU FOR HELPING US and supporting this petition, please spread the word!
Today: Ballinteer Educate Together National School is counting on you
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