Educate Ridiculously Close Together




From top: Glum schoolchildren from Ballinteer Educate Together (top) and one of the school’s packed classrooms.

In August 2012, Ballinteer Educate Together National School enrolled its first pupils in temporary accommodation at St. Tiernan’s Community School, Parkvale, Balally, Dundrum, Dublin 16.

While they waited for the design and approval process of a new school building to be completed.

And waited.

And waited.

Help Build Ballinteer Educate Together sez:

Today, FOUR years and 180+ pupils later our staff and kids are still in the same temporary accommodation which is now at full capacity with an ever growing waiting list for new pupils including 2 new Jr infant classes who have just started in September of this year.

The issues that have created this situation are not budgetary (full financial approval has for our new school was granted in 2012) or related to the planning of the building itself. In reality the reasons we do not have a suitable building for our school seem to be bureaucratic in nature and centre around securing planning permission for road access to the new site.

Our initial application was submitted in 2012 and as of today we are no closer to any kind of decision that will help us get our school built.

Sadly it seems that the efforts of the Dept of Education have fallen short and that very few practical steps are being taken by the Dept of Education to resolve these issues.

While the board and PTA appreciate that these processes take time, the continued absence of a solution to this problem has resulted in an unacceptable delay which is now beginning to have an adverse affect on the staff and pupils of our school.

As our school continues to grow rapidly these affects will only become more serious and its simply a matter of time before our kids educational experience begins to suffer as a result.

Sign a petition to Richard Bruton, Minister for Education here

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10 thoughts on “Educate Ridiculously Close Together

  1. Charlie Doherty

    My understanding is that the main reason for the delay is when the original school was built it did not need to obtain planning permission for the entrance and they constructed a temporary entrance through a housing estate. The school should have ensured they obtained a safe entrance out on to the Wyckham Way Road. The safety and well being of all children needs to be addressed and not just during school hours. The volume and speed of some vehicles exiting St. Tiernans in the evenings through the estate imo is not safe. A proper entrance is required.

    1. Neller

      AFAIK, (and it’s been a while since I looked at it) the original planning permission submitted for Ballinteer ET was for an entrance/exit from Wyckham Way, and that is what was rejected.

      Very little seems if anything to have been done since to find a solution, which is the problem. There has to be an alternative or a solution.

      The money is there, the land is there, access can’t be an insurmountable problem.

    2. Laura

      St. Tiernan’s never finished building the original planned access road, because hard rock was encountered and it would have been too expensive to blast through. So the entrance went through Park Vale. In 2001, the school (St. Tiernan’s) applied for planning permission to build onto Wyckham Way along with a running track. This planning application was rejected because there wasn’t a site notice at Parkvale as well as at Wyckham Way I think. in 2002-2003, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, built a new halting site at the site of the proposed access for the running track and essentially land locked the site. They left no space for a road for vehicular access to a school with capacity for 1000 students. The residents of Park Vale, understandably do not want so much traffic through their estate. Why the alternative access was closed off is a question for DLR coco. In 2012, Ballinteer ETNS and the DOE applied to build the school with access to Wyckham Road, but Wyckham Road is a by-pass and the traffic flow there was deemed to heavy and an access road would not be possible. There is also a protected walled garden at Wyckham Way, which has been sold to apartment developers. Wyckham Way is quiet, only Gort Muire and apartment resident traffic would go through there. There is a laneway between the halting site and the walled garden, to the school, but this has its own problems, with human excrement being left on it as a present to children going to school that way each day. Gort Muire, were they to be convinced to sacrifice about four car parking spaces, could provide an access route to the school and the Park Vale entrance could be closed off to all but pedestrian traffic and cyclists.

    1. PaddyIrishMan

      These are National Schools paid for by the State. This issue has nothing to do with patronage and a lot to do with NIMBYism.

      1. mauriac

        if National schools were truly national and not perverted by the bizarre local ,” patronage” system hijacked by a minority and their clerical avatars then educate together (and the other schools which will logically pop up to cater to other groups) wouldn’t be necessary.

  2. Laura

    The issue of access to St. Tiernan’s in about 36 years old. The original access road for St. Tiernan’s was abandoned because hard rock was encountered and it would have been too expensive to blast through. So access was provided through Park Vale. The residents of Park Vale have been campaigning for the history of their estate to get alternative access. In 2001, St. Tiernan’s applied to build a running track and provide vehicular access onto Wyckham Way. This planning application was rejected because of difficulty with a site notice. In 2002-2003, DLR coco built a halting site next to the piece of land that St. Tiernan’s had expressed interest in utilising for access a year or so previously. The planning files for this site would make you weep. In 2012, the school and the DOE applied for access onto Wyckham Road, but Wyckham Road is a by-pass and I think it would be contrary to NRA guidelines to have any new access onto a by-pass. The issue for how exactly the site came to be land locked is a question for DLR coco, they could have left space for an access road (a planning issue over thirty years old) a school with capacity for 1000 students onto Wyckham Way when building the halting site. Right now, as the situation stands, Gort Muire could perhaps be convinced by the DOE to sacrifice four cark parking spaces and grant access through their land via Wyckham Way, after their gate. Ballinteer obviously isn’t the only school in the country with capacity issues or in need of new school buildings, but the children in Ballinteer ETNS are in prefabs of 35 square meter capacity. Most classroom prefabs provided by the DOE have 80 square meters per classroom.

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