Tonight parents, teachers and students of Castleknock Community College will be meeting to discuss the failure of the Government to provide the necessary funding in the current 5 Year Construction Programme for the school extension, consisting of 10 class-rooms and a sports hall. Like representatives from most of the political parties in Dublin 15, Ill be in attendance.
I’ve previously raised concerns over the reasoning given by the Minister for Education in a letter to me about why this project, which has full planning permission (till 2016), was not included in the 5 Year Programme. The Minister stated,
“Due to competing demands on the Department’s capital budget imposed by the need to prioritise the limited funding available for the provision of additional school accommodation to meet increased demographic requirements, it was not possible to include this project in the 5 year construction programme”.
This completely ignores the fact that CCC made a decision a number of years to increase its annual intake of students in order to deal with the 2nd level schools places crisis being experienced across Dublin 15 at the time. However, it appears the Minister and Department are now content to ignore the vital contribution that CCC made to the demographic expansion of Carpenterstown, long before Luttrellstown CC was even planned.
I’ve subsequently written to the Minister to get some clarification as to his approach for determining funding for schools. I’ll publish his response on this site when I receive it, but a similar question asked in the Dail received a very vague answer from Minister Quinn (see here).
When Dublin 15 was experiencing a 2nd level schools places crisis, parents and teachers in CCC acted selflessly by increasing the intake of the school. It is simply wrong to ignore this huge impact that the school made in the past, and continues to make on an annual basis, in providing extra school places in the Carpenterstown/Castleknock area.
When the Promissory Note deal was negotiated a number of months ago, it was trumpeted as a means towards lessening austerity in the country. I strongly believe that the very best use that any extra money available could be put to is investment in infrastructure for the many schools still lacking basic facilities like classrooms. As the crisis eases over the next few years, nothing is more important than having a well educated workforce, ready to take advantage of every opportunity available to enhance the economy of the country.
Castleknock Community College deserves to be at the very top of this list.