Today marked the official opening of Tipp’s first multi-denominational primary school.
Minister for Education, Norma Foley, visited Nenagh Community National School to celebrate the transition of the school, formerly known as St. Mary’s Junior Boys National School, to ETB patronage.
Speaking to Tipp FM at the event, she stated that today is a landmark day for Tipperary, as well as making progress on the target to have 400 divested schools in Ireland by 2030.
“I’m a great believer that information needs to be shared with people. People need to have the information to make fully formed, and informed, decisions. You can see here that when the information is shared and there’s cooperation all around, and I do want to acknowledge the cooperation of the former patron here, the Bishop, and the work there, and I want to acknowledge the ETB as the new patron, we see the benefits of that consultative process. Today is a very positive day that showcases what can be achieved.”
Interest from parents in the new multi-denominational model at the newly named Nenagh Community National School has significantly increased since its divestment, according to Principal John Gunnell, who says inclusivity is central to the school.
“Our first enrolment as the new Nenagh Community National School took place for our current junior infants, and I’m delighted to report that we were oversubscribed in that class, which is fantastic news. The level of interest so far, when we had our parents open evening just before Christmas, judging by traffic to the website and expressions of interest it looks like enrollment is going to be very, very strong again this year. Our enrollment will come from all parts of Nenagh, from all denominations and none, from all faiths and none. Our enrollment is now stretching wider than the town itself, which was not the case previously.”
Local councillors and TDs were in attendance to witness the ribbon cutting of the Premier’s first ETB-affiliated primary school.
North Tipp Councillor Michel O Meara hopes to see more schools in Tipp follow suit.
“It’s a great achievement to have the Minister down here, and I would like to see this rolled out in other parts of Tipperary as well. We’ll have to just wait and see how it transpires here, but looking at the staff and the work that’s been done here up to now, it’s been excellent, so I’d like to see it happening in other towns throughout Tipp.”