Review of Secondary School Common Application System Needed - Nelligan
Aontú representative for Castletroy, Eric Nelligan, commented on the large number of Limerick City Primary School students who are unable to be accommodated based on this year's applications through the Limerick Area Post-Primary Schools Common Application System operated by the Limerick Education Support Centre.
Speaking today, Mr Nelligan said ‘’It will be an anxious week for many families as they hope and pray for the letter to arrive with positive news. A recent RTE piece showed the dismay one family faced as both sons did not get into their local school. Despite both sons attending the primary school across the road from the secondary school and living only a few minutes away, neither got into their local secondary school."
Mr Nelligan said; ‘the population of Limerick is growing, the population of children moving from primary into secondary school is growing. The population will continue to increase with further growth of 7-8% expected in the next 5 years. In 2020/2021 8786 students attended secondary school in the 15 schools in Limerick city and environs. We have seen growth of 1,132 in the past 5 years with an expected natural growth of 650 or so in the next 5 years. No new schools are planned to be built, which means existing schools will have to absorb this growth’’
Mr Nelligan added: ‘’There are barely enough spaces within the secondary school system currently to offer spots for children who live inside the ‘Limerick City School Planning Area’. Too many schools are allowing children from far outside this boundary to apply on an equal footing to children attending primary school within the boundary. The Boards of Management of many city schools are allowing children far into County Clare and County Limerick to attend school in the city with the consequence being that a sizeable number of city children are affectively school-less.’’
‘’The Limerick Area Post-Primary Schools Common Application System is run by the Limerick Education Support Centre. I’m calling on its officers to agree to a review of all secondary school application policies and to ensure that schools give a higher entry preference on the application criteria to students who live in the ‘Limerick City School Planning Area’ over those who travel from outside the area’’ concluded Mr Nelligan