After years of speculation, it’s been confirmed that the Presentation and Mercy Secondary Schools are to merge in 2016.
Trustee body CEIST announced that the two girls’ schools will amalgamate from September 2016 on the Presentation Road. The new city centre school will cater for over 500 pupils.
A spokesperson for CEIST this week offered assurances that there will be no redundancies, but said “there may be redeployments where either school has more teachers than is merited by their student numbers”.
Teachers’ union ASTI, which represents teachers in both schools, said was engaging with members in relation to the amalgamation and would continue to work to ensure as smooth as possible a transition for both staff and students.
CEIST also acknowledged there would be a need to expand the facilities already available in the Presentation school to accommodate the amalgamation—concerns had been raised in relation to gymnasium and canteen facilities at the site in particular—and a spokesperson confirmed this week that this would take place.
The spokesperson said that CEIST had no plans in relation to the Mercy facility at this time.
The Third Level Feeder School List 2014 shows similar numbers of students progressing on to third level from both schools, with 73% of the 26 students who sat their LC going on to third level in the Presentation, and 72% of the 25 students from the Mercy.
The proposed process to unite the two schools which will take place over the next 18 months, will be supported by a steering group, which will include parents, teachers and board members from both schools.
From September 2015, both schools will co-operate in terms of curricular provision according to CEIST, with the amalgamation allowing for a “broader curriculum and new programme operations”.
“This new school will continue the proud, traditions of the Mercy and Presentation Sisters and will ensure the existing provision for girls’ second-level education in the Galway city area into the future,” according to a spokesperson.
“The coming together of these two long-established schools will ensure the provision into the future of strong Catholic second-level education for girls in the Galway City area.”
The Mercy Sisters have been providing second-level education in Galway City centre for 78 years and the Presentation Sisters will celebrate 200 years of involvement in Galway City education in 2015.
Galway West TD Derek Nolan has said that the proposed merger between the Mercy Secondary School and the Presentation Secondary School must be motivated solely by the educational needs of their pupils. Deputy Nolan has written to CEIST, the school patron, outlining a number of concerns raised by parents of pupils in the schools.