The board of management of one primary school in Westport town has expressed its outrage at virtual exclusion from the current national survey of primary schools.
Holy Trinity School is referred to by the
unrecognisable title of “WESTPORT 2 NS, Newtown” causing confusion to
parents completing the survey.
Parents cannot even identify the school
by “Newport Road” – instead of a road name, the address is given as
“We are extremely unhappy at this
situation,” explained Julian Ellison, chairman of the board of
management, Holy Trinity Primary School. “The use of this archaic title
in the survey is causing unnecessary uncertainty and causing parents to
complete the survey inaccurately.”
The aim of the survey is to establish the
level of demand from parents for diversity of school patronage in each
of the towns and suburbs.
At present, more than 90 per cent, or 3,000
schools, are under the remit of the Catholic Church.
Among the areas
included in this new survey are Ballina, Westport, Roscommon, Tuam,
Ballinasloe, and Loughrea. Castlebar was part of a pilot survey carried
out at an earlier date.
“Our Church of Ireland school is 30 per
cent Protestant, 20 per cent Catholic and 50 per cent
non-denominational,” Mr Ellison explained. “We've got real experience of
pluralism to contribute to the debate, but first we weren't invited to
make a submission to the department last year as others were, then these
forms were not sent to all our parents, because quite a few live some
distance from Westport, and finally when parents did get the forms, the
name of our school isn't even on them. We prefer to think it is a case
of blunder rather than conspiracy, but the problem is that the
consequences could be really serious for our future.”
Holy Trinity National School has more than
60 pupils who come from a wide variety of multi-denominational and
It can truly describe itself as an inclusive
primary school which already demonstrates the attitude which this
survey aims to establish around the country.
“It would be a travesty if
this unique school was excluded and sidelined through no fault of its
own,” Mr Ellison concluded.