Wexford parents being forced to send kids to schools in Enniscorthy
Parents in Wexford are being forced to send their children to schools in Enniscorthy because there are no available places for them in the town.
Four of the five Wexford town school currently have waiting lists of more than 100 students for next year while the final school, the newly named Selskar College, has a waiting list of 40. These waiting lists are all in addition to the number of students the schools can actually accept.
Cllr George Lawlor said the lack of secondary school places in the town has been a 'major problem' for some years but he said it is now at crisis point.
The CBS currently has a waiting list of 180 students, while St Peter's College has a waiting list of 174. There are 160 students on the waiting list at the Loreto while there are 160 students on the Presentation waiting list.
Cllr Lawlor said that in the past the Department of Education said there wasn't a problem in the town because there were places available in the vocational college, however this is no longer the case.
'We are now in a dreadful situation where local people who have lived here all their lives are putting their kids on the train to go to school in Enniscorthy. We have never encountered this before. The problem is particularly bad for boys but is also bad for girls. The Loreto is expanding from a 720 pupil school to a 900 student school so that will help.
'The Department of Education is impossible to deal with in situations like this. The demographics show that this problem won't peak until 2018 so we haven't even seen the worst of it yet.'
Tony Larkin with Wexford County Council said the council has met the principals of the local schools and are trying to engage with the Department.
Cllr Malcolm Byrne said that he estimates that up to 2,000 additional second level places in Wexford need to be created. He estimates that the two schools in Gorey could be at capacity again by the end of the decade.