BANDON needs a standalone new secondary school campus as the demand for school places in the town is outstripping the supply, according to a local councillor.
Cllr Gillian Coughlan told The Southern Star that there are huge demands for secondary school spaces particularly at St Brogan’s College where a strict enrolment policy had to be implemented to cope with the demand for places, causing more distress to both parents and children.
The Department of Education announced a €10m extension for the school back in May which will go towards new classrooms and science laboratories.
‘The Department of Education has announced that it is going to extend St Brogan’s College but I don’t believe the site can absorb the extent of what is being proposed. I think it will compromise the excellent work being done there in so far as parking, play areas and open spaces,’ said Cllr Coughlan.
‘The accommodation there was already inadequate for the students who are there and the extension they are proposing now is adequate for the present students there. I welcome the extension on that basis.’
However, Cllr Coughlan – who was a former board of management member at the school – fears that the Department will expect even more students to go in there following their investment.
‘I would say that St Brogan’s deserves a new campus to enhance and continue the outstanding learning and teaching there and they cater for every ability and that’s why they are so much in demand.’ She said that the present school campus could be set aside for another education facility or an off-shoot of a third level college.
‘We need a 21st century proper secondary school campus for St Brogan’s College and both the students of Bandon and the staff deserve better and to have the facilities to maximise and enhance the excellent techniques that they are putting in place.
‘I am 100% against any amalgamation of schools in Bandon because we have a very strong history and tradition in this town of independent teaching with all four schools here.’
She said she has been calling for a roadmap for secondary education in Bandon for the last three or four years now and it hasn’t taken place.
‘And now we have a knee-jerk reaction of just extending St Brogan’s. It’s a short term bandaid plan and I think it will just not solve the problem.’