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Lack of secondary school places in Ennis causing “untold anguish”

A LACK of secondary school places in Ennis is causing “untold anguish” for local pupils and families. That’s according to Clare TD Joe Carey who has called on Education Minister Norma Foley to address the lack of secondary school places in Ennis “as a matter of urgency”.
Deputy Carey spoke out after he was contacted by several distressed parents in recent days whose children have still not received placements in schools in the Ennis area.
The local Fine Gael TD has repeatedly made representations on the issue in recent years. But he warned the problem has gotten worse and is creating “a most disturbing situation for pupils’ mental health and well-being”.
Deputy Carey this week wrote to Minister Foley urging her to intervene in the crisis. He also attached a letter on behalf of 10 local primary school principals in which they expressed “very serious concerns” for the well-being of students who are still without placements.
The deputy said, “The lack of secondary school places in Ennis has been an issue for a number of years. Over the past two years the Department of Education has provided additional resources to create extra capacity at Ennis Community College. A major extension at Ennis Community College is nearing completion which will assist in bringing about more secondary school places in the Ennis area however we still have a large number of pupils without a secondary school place for the forthcoming academic year.
“Despite the provision of additional capacity, over the weekend I have received a lot of contact from concerned parents regarding the hurt experienced by their sons and daughters who have not received a secondary school placement in Ennis. As in previous years, there seems to be many cases of pupils receiving multiple offers whilst other classmates have not received any. This has created a most disturbing situation for pupils’ mental health and well-being.”
Deputy Carey told the minister the Department of Education “must recognise these issues and provide the necessary resources deemed appropriate to resolving them”.
The Clarecastle-based TD said the lack of school places in the Ennis area is causing “untold anguish” for many local children and their families. He added, “A fairer system needs to be devised in order to protect the well-being of pupils caught up in this broken system. I am asking as a matter of urgency that the Department of Education convenes a meeting involving all secondary school principals with a view to coming up with a workable plan to deal with these matters which are impacting upon a large number of students and their families.”

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