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Debate Urged On School Enrolment Policies Amidst Scoil Mhuire Ballymore Eustace Concerns

Parents in Ballymore Eustace say they have been left in limbo.

There have been calls for a debate on school enrolment policies in light of issues at Scoil Mhuire Ballymore Eustace.

The Board of Management at the school said they have the physical classroom space and facilities to accommodate additional pupils for this forthcoming academic year.

Due to rules imposed by the Department of Education, however, they are unable to employ the necessary additional teacher to open a second Junior Infant class.

The issue was raised in the Seanad this morning, with Kildare Senator Fiona O'Loughlin calling for a debate on the wider enrolment process at primary and secondary level.

Parents in Ballymore Eustace say they have been left in limbo, after up to 16 children locally didn't get a junior infants place at the school.

As per the enrollment policy, that was devised by the Archdiocese of Dublin in 2020 and is shared by all primary schools within the diocese, the school says it is "not allowed to prioritise children with siblings currently enrolled over children with no siblings enrolled who also live in the local area."

"Therefore we had to use the mechanism in our policy, the eldest children being preferred, to rank the applications" it said.

Kfm has spoken to a number of parents of children who missed out, and now don't know where to turn. 

One parent already has two children in the school, while her third has been refused a place. 

Another parent said her son was attending the pre-school, located on the same grounds, but has also been refused a place. 

The school has "strongly" called on the Minister for Education to change the rule whereby schools have to wait an additional year to appoint a new teacher.

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