Fee-paying Terenure College Junior School set to close

Principal says number of students in primary school has almost halved since 2009

The Department of Education: it gives no financial support to private primary schools to cover the cost of teacher salaries and capital expenses

The Department of Education: it gives no financial support to private primary schools to cover the cost of teacher salaries and capital expenses

 

Terenure College Junior School, an independent fee-paying primary school in south county Dublin, is to close in 2018, after over 150 years in business.

In a letter to parents, the principal of Terenure College, Fr Michael Troy O.Carm, said the number of students in the junior school had almost halved since 2009 and that “a small school with this decreased number cannot survive either educationally or economically”.

Unlike fee-paying secondary schools, private primary schools cover the cost of teacher salaries and capital expenses entirely from fees. They get no financial support from the Department of Education.

There are 86 students from third to sixth class at Terenure College Junior School, which is run by the Carmelite Order. Annual fees are set at €4,800 per student, bringing in an income of €412,800. This is supplemented by fundraising.

The school will not take any third-class pupils in 2015. The last students will start sixth class in September 2017 and finish in May of the following year. The junior school employs about 10 full-time teachers and three part-time teachers.

It follows the State primary school curriculum but also provides additional resources and facilities, including French, Spanish and swimming lessons.

On its website the school says that if the principal believes that Terenure College cannot provide for the educational needs of an applicant entry will not be offered.

Fr Troy says the school is “committed to working with [parents of children in the school] to ensure that, as we move towards May 2018, we will provide a full primary education . . . and thereby ensure a smooth transition into the secondary school for our pupils”.