Parents in west Dublin have been left outraged after being told their children will have to be bussed from Lucan to Tallaght to attend secondary school from September.
The board of management of Griffeen Community College issued a letter to parents yesterday to give them the news that the school’s temporary accommodation in Lucan’s Kishoge Community College will no longer be available after the end of the current school term.
And the Department of Education has decided that students will be sent to Kingswood Community College in Tallaght – which is 10km away.
The arrangement could be in place for up to two years, and will see over 200 students bussed between Lucan and Tallaght every morning and afternoon at a cost to the Department of Education.
And the decision has been slammed by parents, who say the plans are going to disrupt the entire community.
One said: “This is absolutely disgraceful for all concerned students, teachers and parents. I enrolled my son into this secondary school under the understanding that their temporary accommodation would be located in the general area for local children to be able to access easily.
“This is now going to disrupt a community and still uncertainty of a build for the permanent accommodation.”
While another added: “I am so angry for the students. This has been drawn out for far too long. I don’t think it would be fair to expect them to keep the same start time either. I didn’t sign my daughter up to travel to Tallaght for her schooling. I will have to seriously think about this before Easter holidays.”
Local Independent councillor Paul Gogarty said: “It shows a lack of consideration, a lack of vision and is something any incoming TD should be raising with the new Minister after the next election.
“Hopefully that won’t take too long and it will be at the front of my mind in terms of what needs to be raised immediately as a matter of urgency.”
While Green Party councillor Peter Kavanagh added: “To think that anyone believes that putting students from Lucan onto a bus to Tallaght, on our already choked and polluted roads, is the right thing to do?”
His party colleague councillor Francis Duffy said: “There is a far more suitable site locally, across the road from Kishoge Community College.
“Facilities can be located here and this will serve the students of Griffeen Community College better and allow Kingswood Community College to continue operating smoothly and growing in Tallaght.”
Dublin Live has contact the Department of Education for a statement.
The full letter:
“I am writing to inform you of the most recent news we have received regarding plans for temporary accommodation for GCC for September 2020. I am very disappointed and regretful that I must share this news with you.
“As you are aware we have been housed here in Kishoge CC since our opening in Sept 2017. I have been informed today by the CEO of DDLETB that the Department of Education has decided that we will be accommodated from Sept 2020 in Kingswood Community College in Tallaght for 12-24 months.
“As this time we are not aware of the exact logistics of how this will work but we have been informed that students will be bused from Lucan to Kingswood and back again each day. The Department will fund the buses. Once further information comes into our possession we will share this with you. Kingswood Community College is another DDLETB post primary school with over 600 students currently enrolled. We will share accommodation in their new build.”
The letter describes the news as “very disappointing and upsetting” with the GCC board of management understanding that they would be moving onto the nearby Carline site.
It continued: “Given the fact that a general election has just been announced can I please ask you to express your dissatisfaction and concern regarding this decision to election candidates as they call to your door.
“Having witnessed the wonderful learning that is taking place here in our school and how our students are flourishing in our relational environment, I know that you realise what a setback this is for GCC, but we endeavour to ensure that students continue to progress and flourish.
“The whole GCC community has invested a huge amount of positive work into our school, and whilst this is not wasted in any way, our potential growth will be hindered by these new plans. Again I apologise for bringing you this news, but it is obviously beyond our control. Please rest assured we will do everything we can to ensure the positive future of GCC.”