The Minister for Education, Norma Foley TD visited Ard Ri Community National School and St Ultan's Special School last week.

New school campus discussed during Minister’s visit to Navan

The new school buildings for Ard Ri Community National School and St Ultan's Special School in Navan were discussed when Education Minister, Norma Foley visited Ard Rí Community NS last week.

She was welcomed to the school by principal, Darragh Roe who acknowledged the last 18 months were a very difficult time in schools.

“I would love to throw the doors open and bring you in to show you all the great learning which is going on but unfortunately that is not possible.

“The fact that you are even here today should be a great source of hope for us all.

Mr Roe introduced five children and representatives of school staff to the Minister.

There was a round of applause for the school cleaner, Ewa, for her dedication to clean “every surface every day and keep us safe from the virus”.

Mr Roe also spoke about the great benefits of professional patronage for school leaders in CNS schools who were “freed up to get on with the business of leading teaching and learning and caring for the pupils.”

Minister Foley was also welcomed to by the LMETB's Director of Schools, Fiona Kindlon, Ard Ri Deputy Principal, Ms. Emer Kavanagh Magee, ETBI Director of Schools (CNS) Mr. Seamus Conboy, chairperson of the LMETB Mr Wayne Harding and Senator Shane Cassells.

Minister Foley congratulated the pupils on their achievements in the school so far and had an opportunity to hear from the pupils about their class, their experience of attending Ard Rí CNS and some of the very positive contributions they have made to the school.

The Minister Foley said her Department and LMETB have signed a service level agreement to deliver a shared education campus for Ard Ri Community National School and St. Ultan’s Special School at Academy Street, Navan.

Ard Ri will be a 16 classrooms school plus a four class-base SEN base and St. Ultan’s will be a 20 classroom special school. The procurement of a full design team is currently underway.

Minister Foley paid tribute to the staff at the school and complimented the Principal and Deputy Principal on their leadership of the school as a best practice CNS model.

Minister for EU Affairs Thomas Byrne said he was really pleased to welcome the Minister for Education to Ashbourne and Meath East where they discussed the need for more classes and education provision for the ever growing and expanding parts of county Meath, particularly towns like Dunshaughlin and Ashbourne.

The Minister visited Ashbourne Community National School where she announced the go ahead for a new 16 class Primary School building.

“Principal Jenny Byrne, her team and the children are a credit to Ashbourne,” said Minister Byrne.

“The new 16 classroom school along with four Special Education Needs classes is a critical project for the town of Ashbourne. I’m really pleased that the new build is on the Department’s Large Scale Capital Programme.”