The Department of Education and Skills approves the development of an innovative new school in Ballyconnell

September 9, 2019

The Department of Education and Skills has granted approval to Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB) to develop a brand-new second level school to meet the changing needs of students in the west Cavan and Belturbet region. Located in Ballyconnell, the new school will see the existing St Bricin’s College and St. Mogue’s College join forces to create one of the most modern and vibrant schools in the country.

The approval of the new school by the Department of Education and Skills recognises the future challenges for schools given the changing curriculum demands and the requirement for modern special needs facilities. The announcement marks a significant investment to support rural population and enhance communities in the area.

The new school will provide the following facilities:

  • Technology-enabled and Specialist Classrooms
  • Physics, Chemistry and Biology Laboratories
  • Technology, Engineering, Art, Music and Home Economics Practical Rooms
  • Multimedia School Library
  • School Administration, Pastoral and Career Guidance Offices
  • Fully equipped PE Hall with fitness suite
  • Special Educational Needs Suite

Speaking on the announcement John Kearney, Chief Executive of Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board said:

“This is a really exciting development for the region. Both schools have achieved strong results individually, but it is clear they have limited facilities to meet increasing curriculum demands and special needs education. As part of our vision for education across the west Cavan and Belturbet region, CMETB sought to address this comprehensively and provide modern dynamic facilities to fully support the quality teaching standards currently being delivered by St Mogue’s College and St Bricin’s College teaching staff. By bringing these two schools together, we can truly deliver for the students of the area. It is our guiding priority that school staff, students and parents within the region deserve the same opportunities as those enjoyed by other schools across the county and throughout the country. The new school will strengthen the continuance of post-primary school provision in the west Cavan area.

Enrolments in CMETB schools are increasing and an additional 22 teaching staff will be recruited this year throughout CMETB schools. We have also commenced the delivery of building projects for the Primary schools sector in Cavan and Monaghan. We are at the forefront in the development and delivery of Further Education and Training Services with local employers and have recently being awarded the Excellence in Education Services National Award.

This new school is an important part of our overall strategy for west Cavan and will herald a vibrant new dawn for the provision of education in the region by ensuring all children have a full curriculum to choose from.”

The plan for the new school was unanimously approved by the Board of Cavan and Monaghan ETB late last year. The proposal was warmly welcomed by School Management, Teaching Staff and Boards of Management from both schools. Cavan and Monaghan ETB will establish an engagement process so that teachers, parents and students can contribute to the implementation plan to shape the exciting developmental plans for the new school over the course of the transition period.

John Kearney said that the development is a real statement of ambition by the ETB for the region and that students and staff at the schools can now feel secure:

“This plan shows real ambition. It is not a sticking plaster for the current schooling accommodation deficiencies but a real tangible and sustainable solution that can drive change and enhanced educational excellence for all students in the area. It also provides the necessary security that allows teachers, parents and students to plan with confidence knowing quality education is a priority for the ETB”.

Welcoming the decision of the Department of Education and Skills, Anne Conaghan, Principal of St. Mogue’s College said that after years of lobbying for enhanced facilities, this sanctioning of a new school is most welcome for staff and students. The new school will support excellence in teaching and learning, which has been a hallmark of our approach at St. Mogue’s. Mary Sheridan, Principal of St. Bricin’s College, commented on the innovation in teaching and learning that has taken place at St. Bricin’s and stated that she “looks forward to teachers and students joining forces in a new, world-class learning environment”.

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