County’s “fastest-growing” secondary school in “urgent” need of more accommodation

The Galway Educate Together Secondary School (GETSS) is currently appealing to the Department of Education for more class space as the city struggles with population growth.

The school beside Merlin Park Hospital has been struggling to keep up with demand, they have also said the issue is now “urgent.” Out of 190 applicants for the 2021/2022 school year, only 48 were enrolled.

After years of campaigning, the local amenity was finally established in 2019, making it Galway’s first post-primary Educate Together school. GETSS now describes itself as the fastest growing school in the county.

The Galway Educate Together Secondary School.

Five prefab classrooms were added to the premises in April 2021 to help cater to the growth. GETSS is set to outgrow its current space in 2022 and there have still been no plans put in place by the Department of Education.

Galway representatives from the Dáil and Seanad attended a meeting Monday with school management and parents. Among them were TD’s Catherine Connelly and Mairéad Farrell while senators Ollie Crowe, Pauline O’Reilly, and Seán Kyne were also present.

“This is a wonderful school community which has been providing an inclusive education in Galway for the last three years.”

“The students, parents, and staff deserve certainty now about a school building for September and into the future so that they can plan and continue to flourish,” said Green Party Senator Pauline O’Reilly.

The local representatives assured parents in attendance that they are actively pursuing the possibility of getting new premises with Minister for Education Norma Foley.

Chairperson of the Parents’ and Guardians’ Committee (PGCC), Kim Cunningham-Moorat, said there is an increasing level of frustration and anxiety amongst parents and guardians of students.

“We are requesting transparency and urgent action from the department to ensure that we are provided with information and timelines associated with the delivery of GETSS’ urgent temporary accommodation”

“The community also needs to be kept informed about the permanent location of our school and its timeline. We believe that these are realistic expectations that if met will allow the parents and guardians to support GETSS and our children,” Ms Cunningham-Moorat says.

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