Three separate schools will temporarily function alongside each other at the Notre Dame premises

NEWS that a new gaelscoil is set to take up occupancy of the former Notre Dame premises has come as a surprise to Ballinteer Educate Together, who are also due to move into the premises – on a temporary basis – in September.
While the news of a new gaelscoil for the area was welcomed by many, the staff, parents and pupils of Ballinteer Educate Together say that they have had no feedback from the Department of Education in relation to Gaelscoil na Fuinseoige’s use of the premises.
Principal Marie Gordon said she is not sure how both schools will fit, but said the Department of Education told her there is “plenty of space for all schools”.
She said: “There is going to be apparently ourselves, the gaelscoil, and of course the remaining students at Notre Dame secondary school.
“The Department have people in there [Notre Dame] now and they’re going to decide where everyone is going to go. That’s all I know.
“We haven’t been told how they’re going to manage that, but I have had no feedback, nor have I been asked for my feedback.”
Ballinteer Educate Together is currently located beside St Tiernan’s School in Balally in temporary prefabs.
A permanent building is due to be constructed on the site and the school temporarily moved to the Notre Dame building in Churchtown while the building takes place.
It was announced last October that Notre Dame would close down in 2019 due to a lack of funding.
The junior school is due to close in June, while the secondary school will continue operating until June 2019 to allowed Junior and Leaving Cert students to complete their studies uninterrupted.
Local TD and former teacher Catherine Martin (GP) said that while it is “excellent news” for Gaelscoil na Fuinseoige, there has been “very poor communication” between the Department of Education and Ballinteer Educate Together on the plans.
She said: “That communication and consultation must improve and the Department must prioritise building a new school for Ballinteer ETNS.”
Principal Marie Gordon echoed Deputy Martin’s views on prioritising the construction of a permanent school building, saying: “I don’t know why there is such a delay.”
She also acknowledged that many parents are likely to face difficulties with the school changing location.
A spokesperson for the Department of Education and Skills told The Gazette: “The Department has discussed this matter with both the principal of the school and the patron body, Educate Together. There is sufficient accommodation on the campus for both schools.
“The Department is currently in the process of carrying out a technical assessment of the Notre Dame campus in order to accommodate the schools concerned, as well as the phasing out of the post-primary school on this campus.
“Decisions will be made in this regard once the technical assessment is complete. The school patron will be informed of the accommodation arrangements as soon as it is possible to do so.”

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