Presentation Secondary School, Milltown is defending its admissions policy.
It follows claims from parents that children living within the catchment area and attending feeder schools are being denied places.
The school says it’s one of three co-educational secondary schools in the shared Mid Kerry catchment area – with 5 miles the furthest distance between any of the three schools.
Presentation Secondary School, Milltown says its admission policy is reviewed regularly, ensuring it is fair and in line with legislative requirements.
The Presentation Secondary School, Milltown statement says it appreciates that some parents believe students have an ‘entitlement’ to attend their nearest post-primary school; however, this is not the case.
It says its policy is in line with the Education Act 2018 criteria, adding that distance and proximity to a school is not included in that act.
The statement also says if priority was given to students attending the closest national schools, then those living in more rural areas would be penalised and run a greater risk of not obtaining a place in any secondary school.
The board has taken account of the current and future population figures of Mid-Kerry, adding the change to criteria in recent years has bought Milltown’s policy in line with the three other oversubscribed secondary schools in Kerry.
The statement also adds that it is extremely challenging to be so significantly oversubscribed and says placing applicants on a waiting list is difficult for everyone.
The school understands the upset for students who do not get a place in the school of their choice. However, the board has an obligation to students in all catchment schools, including the more rural areas.
Councillor Michael O’Shea says the issue is causing distress locally and has requested an emergency meeting in an attempt to address the issue.