Deputy Sorca Clarke.

School enrolment crisis set to continue due to lack of planning – Sorca Clarke TD

Sinn Féin TD Sorca Clarke has called on government to address the delays in school capital projects in Longford-Westmeath immediately.

An unpublished school capacity survey found that three out of four parents are unable to secure spots at oversubscribed secondary schools.

“Shortages of school places in this area are a result of poor planning and delays in providing school buildings by government," Deputy Clarke said.

“They are also a direct failure of a broken modelling system, that focuses on capacity in existing schools, while failing to take demographic changes or decades of long under-resourcing of schools into account.

“Students are being forced to travel far and wide to find an available school.

“Some are being left with no other option but to get home tutoring as a result of enrolment pressure.

“Many parents and their children, who in some cases live within metres of their school, are not able to secure a school place for the next school year.

“It is placing avoidable stress and pressure on families.

“Families and students in Longford-Westmeath deserve better.

“Over-subscription of schools naturally equates to increased class sizes and we all know the detrimental impacts large class sizes can have on a child’s education, particularly those with special educational needs.

“They create barriers to effective learning and hinder students’ academic and personal development.

“Sinn Féin believe that smaller class sizes in Longford-Westmeath are vital as they can facilitate greater student participation and engagement.

“Smaller class size will help increase individual attention and make it harder for students, particularly those with SEN to get left behind, this in turn will lead to enhanced academic performance.

“Government must address this crisis immediately. Every child should have a school place come September.”