The Department of Education and Skills has today been in contact with all schools constructed by Western Building Systems, and which are due to undergo a structural assessment, to confirm the arrangements for that assessment. The assessments are proceeding over the weekend and mid-term break in order to minimise disruption to schools and ensure that they can be completed as quickly as possible.
The Department’s interim accommodation team has been working intensively over the course of today, in consultation with the school principals, to secure an interim accommodation solution for Tyrrelstown Educate Together National School and St Luke’s National School.
All principals have been notified of the planned opening up works and will receive further information including practical advice on the nature of the works.
Minister McHugh added, “Good progress has been made today in ensuring that the students and staff of the affected schools in Tyrrelstown will have an interim accommodation solution by the end of the mid-term break. While we await the outcome of further structural assessments, we would wish to be clear that school buildings will only be closed where it is deemed necessary to do so, and every effort will be made to minimise disruption to students, staff and families.”
Site visits at Ardgillan Community College and the schools in Tyrrelstown also took place today, involving Department of Education and Skills officials, structural engineers and representatives of Western Building Systems. This provided Western Building Systems with the opportunity to view the structural issues identified at the three schools. The Department is awaiting a response from Western Building Systems.
The overriding priority of the Department remains the health and safety of the school pupils and staff.
The list of schools constructed by Western Building Systems is available at the following link: https://www.education.ie/en/School-Design/western-building-systems-information/
Notes to Editors
The Department of Education and Skills will not be providing any further detail on the timing of assessments. These arrangements will be made directly with the school principal.
In the event of any further school closures in the coming days, the Department will in the first instance notify the school principal, who will in turn notify all staff, students and parents.