The Cavan Monaghan Education Training Board (CMETB) have proposed to close two schools that are 20 km apart, St Mogue’s College, Bawnboy and St Bricin’s, Belturbet and build a new school in Ballyconnell.
We are working as a community to retain our fantastic school in Bawnboy. There follows a list of reasons why we feel so strongly and support St Mogue’s College.
· Excellent academic and sporting achievements, most recently St Mogue’s won the Ward football cup becoming Ulster Champions. Higher level honours achieved by St Mogue’s pupils ranges between 15-50% above the national average.
· The school offers an excellent curriculum- 24 subjects in total, including all science subjects. This choice is greater than in many larger schools.
· The school has a DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) status which would be lost if the proposed amalgamation goes ahead. The advantages of DEIS are:
- 1. A low pupil to teacher ratio
2. Free after school study
3. Breakfast club
4. Subsidised lunches
5. Book grants
6. Home School Community Liaison Coordinator
7. Programme to deal with the transfer from feeder schools
8. Family cookery courses, plus IT classes and extra Spanish tuition
9. Parent & child woodwork classes
10. Home visits which provide support for students and families at times of bereavement or tragedy
· Enrolment at the school is on the rise currently standing at 230. The projected intake of September 2019 is 50+ . The numbers are rising. Schools with similar or fewer numbers thrive all over Ireland without fear of closure.
· The school has just received a new science lab, two new fully furnished classrooms, new suite of toilets, extension of canteen facilities and widening of corridors with works completed last September. Is this further evidence of taxpayer’s money wasted?
The school has a great relationship with local communities. Examples include:
1. Students help out in Templeport Day Care Centre
2. Students assist on local Development Association projects
3. Students created murals in conjunction with Ballyconnell Credit Union
4. Students created a mural at Templeport Lake Boathouse
5. Students fund raise for local and national charities
6. Students assisted in Bawnboy Heritage Book project
7. Students designed Bawnboy Heritage logo
8. The local GAA club allows the school use of two of the best pitches in the country
· This new school was never asked for. The school needs investment, but only a fraction of the €15 million suggested for a new build. The site at St. Mogue’s College is 3.1 acres. Car park and buildings comprise of 0.6 acres with remaining ground free for developing.
· The local GAA club has offered to collaborate on a state of the art indoor sports facility adjacent to the school - these cross community ventures are actively encouraged by the Department of Education. Unfortunately this proposal was spurned by CMETB.
· CMETB have not adhered to the Department of Education & Skills guidelines for closure or amalgamations. They have not had the prescribed consultations with all stakeholders namely the local community and prospective parents.
· Rural communities have been hit hard in recent years. A new policy was launched by Government, County Councils and even CMETB to keep rural Ireland alive. Closing down a successful school at the heart of it’s community does not make sense.
· It is distressing that decisions like this are being made. Tax payer’s money is being spent without any input or interest in local opinion. Parents want the choice to send their children to schools that provide more than 'glossy facilities'. They want a school that cares for and nurtures their child as well as giving a high quality education. St. Mogue’s College ticks all these boxes.
The Save St Mogue's Committee indemnifies Bawnboy.com from all claims relating to the publication of this statement on the Bawnboy web site. The committee understands that those involved with Bawnboy.com may support or oppose the objectives of the Save St Mogue's Committee.
For more information or to help please email: Save St Mogue's College Committee firstname.lastname@example.org
The Save St.Mogue’s Committee