Enrolment restrictions lifted for five Educate Together schools

The organisation had previously been told they would only be able to enrol 13 junior infant pupils this year

Enrolment restrictions lifted for five Educate Together schools

Educate Together. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The Department of Education has granted five Educate Together primary schools permission to enrol more students.

Educate Together were previously told by the department that the five multi-denominational schools would only be able to enrol 13 junior infant pupils this year, or half the normal class side.

However, it is now reported the schools in Castlebar, New Ross, Tramore, Trim and Tuam will be able to develop into 'eight classroom full stream schools'.

In a statement this evening, Educate Together confirmed the restrictions will be lifted - saying the department had also committed to working to ensure 'suitable and sufficient' accommodation is made available to the schools to allow them to grow.

Educate Together CEO Paul Rowe explained: “Educate Together is very pleased that the Department has responded positively to the case it has made in support of these five schools. 

"The Department’s apparently discriminatory policy towards these schools has caused great distress to prospective parents and the staff of Tramore ETNS, New Ross ETNS, Trim ETNS, Tuam ETNS and Castlebar ETNS and considerable public reaction.”

The news was 'cautiously welcomed' by Fianna Fáil.

The party's education spokesperson Thomas Byrne said: “We cautiously welcome that the Department has agreed to let the schools expand to normal size.

"However, we note that site restrictions are still in place at some of the schools."

He added that such situations "cannot become the norm", suggesting: "Only in exceptional circumstances should a school be allowed to be established in an urban area on a half stream basis.”