Gerry Adams TD raises future of Faughart National School with Minister Bruton
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams today raised concerns about the future of Scoil Náisiúnta Bhride at Faughart in County Louth with the Minister for Education Richard Bruton.
The Louth TD acknowledged the Minister’s response in the Dáil that the Department of Education is in ongoing contact with the school authorities and the Patron of the School, to discuss its viability and the deployment of teachers.
The Minister told Teachta Adams that a meeting was scheduled to take place today (Wednesday) between the Department, the school authorities and the Patron.
Speaking in the Dáil Teachta Adams said:
“I have previously raised my concerns directly with Minister Bruton, the school management, and the school patron regarding the welfare of pupils, the morale of the school and the danger that the school it may close if the issues at hand were not resolved.
"The current situation is that a once thriving school which had over 100 pupils now has no pupils, and has effectively closed its doors. This is a matter of deep concern. The school has been a hub of activity for the local community for generations.
"The Department of Education undertook an inspection earlier this year.
"The Whole School Evaluation report, published in May, made a number of critical findings. Inspectors reported that 'leadership for learning within the school was not prioritised sufficiently'. The report also said that action should be taken as a matter of priority to 'rebuild trust within the school community and to improve enrolment'.
"The Whole School Evaluation confirmed concerns that many of the parents of children at the school had. In an effort to resolve their concerns the parents engaged with the Board of Management, the School Patron - the Archbishop of Armagh, and the Minister.
"The failure to find a resolution has resulted in parents withdrawing their children from the school and to seek alternative school places for them. There are no pupils left. We see the decimation of a rural thriving school community. The local community is devastated by this.
"I have met with and spoken to families directly affected and they all tell a similar tales of hoping against hope that the Department and school management would resolve the issues at hand.
"It is simply unacceptable that a rural school can close in the way that Scoil Náisiúnta Bhridehas. And the people of Faughart in my opinion deserve better. They are afraid that the future of the school is now in danger.
"I would urge the Minister to meet with the families as soon as possible in an effort to secure the future of the school.”