It is over a month since our meeting with Minister Joe McHugh and representatives from the Department of Education and Skills. In that time, we have received no official follow-up on expanding the catchment area of the Harolds Cross school site to include Dublin 8 and Dublin 12.
The Department of Education and Skills repeatedly tell us that Dublin 6/6W schools are oversubscribed, while Dublin 8 and 12 schools are undersubscribed, but a recent Freedom of Information (FOI) request has yielded a staggering result. Dublin 12 represents the 2nd largest population of post-primary school going children in Dublin 6/6W. Combined with Dublin 8 (a growing primary school population that we will see peak in 2025) they account for 21% of the Dublin 6/6W post-primary school going population.
Currently one in four children migrate from Dublin 12 daily to access post-primary schools and education in Dublin 6/6W.
Why is this?
The ETHX committee and working groups have decided on three core actions for the coming month. Our goal is to grab the attention of the Minister and the Department of Education and Skills, and to push our issue to the top of their agenda.
Action 1: Political Representation
We need to maintain pressure on our political representatives. The Department of Education and Skills will not budge on this issue. Only political pressure and parent power will see the catchment increased to include Dublin 8 and 12.
Please click here to view a template letter/email that you can personalise and forward to your local political representatives.
In addition, with local elections fast approaching, we would ask you to raise the issue with any political representatives canvasing in your area.
If our campaign is printed on their literature, we would ask you to call them out on it and to challenge them on any actions on our behalf, what results they have had and how they are going to communicate on this issue once they have left your doorstep.
Action 2: Social Media
We the parents have met in large numbers; now we need to give our children, the students and future students, the chance to be heard.
We are making a call-out for content for our social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter).
All formats will work: short videos, pictures, drawings and quotes. Here are some suggested questions that might help when putting a piece together:
– What is your name? (optional)
– What is your postcode? (optional)
– What do you want to be when you grow up?
– What are your favorite subjects in school?
– What do you enjoy most about school?
– When you think about school, what is most important to you?
– How do you travel to school?
– Who do you travel to school with?
Please send all content to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post it to our Facebook site and share it on Twitter.
If you wish to tweet as a parent on our campaign, please feel free to include some or all of the following hashtags are #ETHX, #parentpower, #ittakesavillage, #ireland2040, #nochild2020.
Please be sure to include our Twitter handle, @ETHXCampaign, as well as @McHughJoeTD and @education_ire the Minister’s and Department of Education and Skills handles.
Action 3: Grow our Network
On a local level, we are looking for campaign representatives in primary schools in D6, D6W, D8 and D12.
We need to demonstrate to the Minister and Department of Education and Skills that we represent a large number of voters. Also, it is important that parents in all types of schools know about the campaign and that there might be a secondary school alternative available soon for their child.
Suggestions to promote the ETHX campaign in your primary school are listed below:
– Send a message to class WhatsApp groups or email lists about the campaign
– Put up posters on school noticeboards or local boards
– Give a talk at the next PTA meeting about the need for another secondary school (or invite someone from the ETHX campaign committee to talk)
We understand that each school is different in terms of communication routes, culture etc, so you may need to adapt the above for your school environment.
The campaign committee is available to help you with information, posters, drafting messages etc as needed.
This is a national issue, not just a local one. If you know of any communities with children/young adults who cannot access a local school due to catchment area please ask them to get in touch email@example.com, we want to hear from them and we want to work with them.
We look forward to hearing from you and thank you in advance for all your contributions and efforts.
Please do get in touch if you have any questions.
Deirdre & Roisin
Chairperson & Secretary.
What is the ETHX campaign about?