Fianna Fáil Seanad Group Leader, Senator Catherine Ardagh has said that Canal Way Educate Together National School in Basin Lane, Dublin 8 requires essential support for the Department of Education to deal with the current demand for school places.

The Crumlin based Senator raised the matter in Séanad Éireann earlier today.

She said, “Since Canal Way was first established in 2014 as a multi-denominational and co-educational school in our area, the population has rapidly grown.

“The school has become well known and well regarded in the area as a vibrant city school that emphasises active learning.

“Subsequently, there has been a major increase in demand for places and the waiting lists are quickly growing. This level of appetite for places has led to a severe shortage of appropriate teaching accommodation.

“The school has been forced to enroll only one stream of Junior Infants for the forthcoming intake of pupils in September and are already likely to have no space for a Junior Infant class in 2019.

“Special Education Teaching must be considered an essential element of every school. Sadly, staff in Canal Way are unable to allocate any space to provide for this kind of important learning as they do not have the necessary classroom facilities to do so.

“The Department have offered a very short term solution in providing on site Porto Cabins, but in the long-term this would be unsatisfactory and substandard conditions for learning. There is little doubt that if the lack of permanent school accommodation remains unaddressed, the pupils’ capacity to learn will suffer.

“There is a very clear and desperate need for more classrooms in order to facilitate the needs of our local community. I will be further challenging the Minister for Education to provide an update on alleviating the capacity issues in Canal Way Educate Together,” concluded Senator Ardagh.