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Tag Archives: department of education

Ennis school upgrade will allow enrolment to increase

AN Ennis secondary school will be able to expand its number of student admissions after the Department of Education gave the go-ahead for a multi-million euro extension. The development at Rice College will see state-of-the art facilities added to the school campus including 13 new mainstream classrooms and a designated suite providing education and support to autistic students. Principal Louis Mulqueen has described the development as “a major advance in the post-primary educational infrastructure of Ennis”. The ability to increase student numbers has been particularly welcomed in light of unprecedented demand in recent years for secondary school places in the county capital, which Mr Mulqueen has described as “a major challenge” for post-primary schools area. As well as enabling increased pupil numbers, the new extension will also allow for an expanded curriculum and broader services for students with special needs at Rice College. Following the announcement, Mr Mulqueen said, “Rice College Board of Management welcomes the recent announcement by the …

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North Clare school selected for ‘clusters’ pilot project

ONE Clare primary school is to be included in a national pilot project to look at how small rural educational facilities can be saved. The two-year programme, which has been unveiled by Minister for Education Norma Foley, will see Tubber National School operate as part of a ‘cluster’ with four other schools around the Gort area, and located in County Galway. Despite representations on behalf of a number of small Clare schools, including Clooney NS, the pilot – which will begin in the new school term – will involve a total of 24 schools in Galway, Donegal, Wicklow, Waterford and Kerry. The scheme, which has been developed by a working group of school management bodies and teachers’ unions with the Department of Education, will include strategies to share teaching and certain ‘common activities’, including special needs education. The role of ICT in linking the cluster schools will also be examined. Each cluster, comprised of three to five schools, will are tasked …

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St Clare’s to open two more classes

SAINT Clare’s school in Ennis has been given the go-ahead to open two additional classes in September 2021 and again in 2022. Principal John Murphy has said this is “wonderful news” for the school. “The ongoing engagement with the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) and the Department of Education has been very positive and confirms that St Clare’s school remains a first choice of parents for children with additional needs,” he said. St Clare’s school has grown and developed significantly in the last two years increasing the roll from 54 two years ago to 83 in September 2021 and is projected to hit 100 learners in 2022. Mr Murphy said that this “is a great tribute to the staff at school who are touching the future everyday and dealing with young people’s dreams”. “This welcome news arrived at the same time as the award of the school’s Amber Flag, Active Flag and a forth Green Flag rounding off a …

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Ennistymon looks forward to educating together

WORK on a new haul road to facilitate the long-awaited start of construction on the new €25 million Ennistymon Schools’ Project is scheduled to start next week. The Department of Education has confirmed work on the site of the new Ennistymon Campus started on June 1, and The Clare Champion has learned from informed sources this involved a lot of preparatory tasks. Responding to Clare Champion queries, the Department stated the new campus will cater for 750 post primary pupils and Ennistymon Primary School – a primary school to cater for five mainstream classes as well as one classroom unit for children with special educational needs on the same site. It estimates it will take about two and a half years to complete this project, which will facilitate the construction of the largest post primary facility in North Clare. It involves the long-awaited amalgamation of Ennistymon CBS, Ennistymon Vocational School and Scoil Mhuire Ennistymon and a new primary school, which …

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Appeal to minister over secondary places

AN ENNIS principal has appealed to the education minister for a speedy conclusion to talks on the system of allocation of secondary school places in Ennis. In recent years, there has been an unprecedented demand, with some schools receiving more than twice as many applications as available places. As Minister Norma Foley visited Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Cíosóg this week, Príomhoide Dónal Ó hAiniféin availed of the opportunity to highlight the issue. He said the stress of trying to secure a place gave the “wrong impression” of secondary school as students were making a key transition out of primary education. Referring to an ongoing consultation process, which was developed in response to the controversy, Mr Ó hAiniféin expressed the hope that it might soon be brought to a successful conclusion by the autumn. “For children in sixth class, it gives the totally wrong impression,” he said. “I’m certain the secondary schools will benefit from the positivity that will come from this, and …

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New development will ‘future proof’ Gaelscoil

A RICH display of music and song greeted the education minister as she visited Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Cíosóg in Ennis this week to announce a new multi-purpose hall and two Early Intervention rooms. In a socially-distanced ceremony, some of the school’s 481 pupils showcased their talents to a small but appreciative audience including the Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Mary Howard, board of management representatives and parents. Addressing the gathering bilingually, the minister said she was very proud of the work being done. “It’s a very positive day for the school and an endorsement of the very positive work that goes on an ongoing basis,” she said. “There has been very strong commitment from the entire school team. The ongoing engagement with the Department of Education has been very positive. This school has grown and developed spectacularly in the last number of years. That’s a tribute to the excellent work that goes on here on a daily basis.” Príomhoide Dónal Ó …

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Moves afoot to improve access to school bus transport

RESTRICTIONS on access to school bus transport in North Clare are causing hardship and inconvenience for many parents and students in the Corofin area, a recent meeting of local councillors was told. Councillor Joe Killeen, a former primary school principal and ex-president of the INTO, called on the West Clare Municipal District committee to contact the government on the matter and to ask them to redefine the catchment area for the secondary schools in Ennistymon. “Such a move”, he said, “would make pupils from Corofin eligible for school transport on a phased basis.” The Fianna Fáil member noted that, currently, the Department of Education provides subsidised school transport for post-primary pupils who live more than 4.8 kilometres away from the appropriate school. Because schools in Ennis are closer to those living in Corofin, students currently only have ‘concessionary’ status on school busses to Ennistymon. “We have had a huge increase in the primary school population,” Councillor Killeen noted. “Now, as …

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HSE Spends €300,000 on Scariff Health Centre Upgrade

THE total cost of refurbishing the Scariff Health Centre (SHC), which closed recently, is about €300,000, according to the Mid-West HSE. The HSE has confirmed the SHC will close for between six to eight weeks to accommodate a major refurbishment. Services will be relocated to Tulla Health Centre, Broadford Health Centre and Scariff Medical Centre for the duration of these works. Responding to Clare Champion queries, the Mid-West HSE estimated the total cost of the refurbishment to Scariff Health centre is approximately €300,000. The regional health authority also confirmed the main contractor carrying out this work is James Malone Construction Ltd, Ballybeg, Ennis. Services will be offered in a number of facilities by public health nurses or clinicians to their clients in Tulla, Scariff and Broadford. Patients have been made aware of the alternative arrangements. James Malone Construction Ltd was established in 1971 and has continued to be a family run business. It carries out a wide range of building …

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