MEDIA RELEASE; For immediate release, TUESDAY 26 SEPTEMBER 2017

MEDIA RELEASE

For immediate release, TUESDAY 26 SEPTEMBER 2017

Educate Together Welcomes Minister’s Announcement on Fire Safety Audits Educate Together today welcomes Minister Richard Bruton’s announcement that the Department of Education and Skills (DES) intends to carry out immediate precautionary fire safety audits on a number of schools around Ireland, including a number of Educate Together school buildings that were constructed under the Rapid Build Programme.

The Educate Together school buildings to be included in the new audit of school buildings are:

Tyrrelstown ETNS                                                   Portlaoise ETNS

Lucan ETNS                                                              Carrigaline ETNS

Broombridge ETNS                                                 Ashbourne ETNS

Griffeen Valley ETNS

 

Educate Together has been in contact with representatives from the schools in question and has been assured by the Department that the buildings are safe. Educate Together is in ongoing communication with these schools and the DES.

This is in addition to the recently announced DES spot-check on a representative sample of up to 30 school buildings around the country.

Today’s announcement comes in response to ‘fire stopping’ issues identified recently in a number of school buildings that were constructed under the Rapid Build Programme in 2008. Regarding these schools, three of which were under Educate Together patronage, a DES statement states that:

“It is worth noting again that the Department has no reason to believe that there are issues with fire safety provisions in schools generally. These additional steps are an added precaution being taken by the Department, prompted by recent concerns in Ireland and abroad regarding fire safety in public buildings.”1 Three Educate Together schools in Letterkenny, Firhouse and Galway are currently under construction and Educate Together has been assured by the Department of Education that an independent auditor will remain on-site to supervise the building of these schools.

Educate Together is also encouraged to see that the Department has accepted Educate Together’s suggestion that a suitably qualified Clerk of Works is to be appointed to all future major building projects to enhance the oversight and inspection of works when they are being carried out. Amongst other measures announced today, an internal fire safety committee is also being established within the Department to keep lines of communications open between the DES, schools and patrons, which Educate Together welcomes.

It is anticipated it will take approximately six months to complete the fire safety audits on the school buildings that were constructed under the Rapid Build Programme. The sample audit is expected to be concluded by January 2018.

The Department has also set up a special email address to which schools can email any queries which arise from this announcement. The email address is PBUQueries@education.gov.ie

ENDS

Further information:

Luke O’Shaughnessy

Communications Manager,

Educate Together

luke.oshaughnessy@educatetogether.ie

01 429 2500 / 085 1069302

About Educate Together:

Educate Together has been offering parents a choice in Irish education since 1978, when its first school, the Dalkey School Project opened. There are 82 Educate Together primary and nine second-level schools around Ireland, with four more due to open in the next two years. In total, these schools provide education for over 225,000 pupils.

Educate Together schools are child-centred and teach the national curriculum. A founding principle of its approach to education is that all children are treated with equal respect, regardless of social, cultural or religious backgrounds. Further information about Educate Together schools can be found on www.educatetogether.ie ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Educate Together Equity House, 16/17 Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin 7

T +353 1 4292500

F +353 1 4292502

 

E info@educatetogether.ie

Charity No. CHY 11816

Company No. 286202

Directors 2016- 2017 

M. Baskarasubramanian,

S. Bradshaw, R. Cochran,

P. Croghan,

J. Cummins, M. Gordon,

D. Haskins,

D. Mac Aonghusa (Chair),

P. Murphy,

M. O’Rourke,

M. von Richter.