Fears over shortage of second level school places for boys in Clonakilty

January 10th, 2023 11:40 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

FG Senator Tim Lombard said the problem will add to the ongoing issues with the school transport system.

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A LACK of secondary school places for male students in Clonakilty could see some pupils forced to travel to nearby towns for the coming academic year.

A waiting list for enrolments for first year students for next September is already underway at Clonakilty Community College following the first round of offers made just before Christmas.

Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard, who has been contacted by several parents on this issue, raised the issue in the Seanad.

‘We now have a situation where there is a waiting list at Clonakilty Community College and if you are a boy in particular there is no other school offering in the town as the only other school, Sacred Heart Secondary School doesn’t take boys. So the only option will be for them to travel to either Rosscarbery or Dunmanway,’ Sen Lombard told The Southern Star.

‘The population of Clonakilty is evidently increasing and this is the first time that parents of boys have contacted me on this. They are fearful because there are no other options available to them.

‘We had a similar situation in Bandon a few years ago and it took time to solve this. There is real genuine concern that the offering for a school place won’t be there.’

Sen Lombard said this problem will add to the issues with the school transport system.

‘These children don’t even know what school they’re going to, never mind applying for school bus tickets. Time is of essence here and we need clarity on the long term approach so that students can get school places for the coming academic year.’

Clonakilty Community College, which operates under the Cork Education Board, currently has 650 pupils and there is a cap of 125 students allowed in every year.

Independent councillor Paul Hayes said he understands that there are a few students on the waiting list but added that with more housing developments set to take place in the town over the coming year this could become an even bigger issue in the future.

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