A Dublin school for Travellers is to close after a Department of Education inspection found problems with the standard of education on offer and its delivery.

St Thomas's School in Clonshaugh, which caters for 30 secondary students, will close in June.

It is understood the department initially wished to close the school with immediate effect, but the school's patron asked that it be allowed remain open until June.

Department inspectors made an unannounced inspection of the school shortly before Christmas.

School inspection reports are normally published online.

However, a department spokesperson told RTÉ News that its report into St Thomas's is internal and is not for circulation outside of the department.

The Department of Education also confirmed that it has received complaints in relation to St Thomas's School, however a spokesperson said any further comment in relation to this would not be appropriate at this time. 

The spokesperson said the Department had invoked "the normal procedures" for dealing with the complaints.

However, RTÉ News understands that the complaints in question relate to historical and not current events. 

A spokesperson for the school's patron, the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, has told RTÉ News that the department wrote to them last month.

The department said the education on offer at the school was not suitable for students and was not meeting their needs.

It said there were also issues with the delivery of education and asked the archdiocese to cease enrolling students at the school.

According to the archdiocese, the department initially wanted to close the school immediately following the inspection.

However, it agreed to a request from the archdiocese that the school be allowed to remain open until June.

There are 30 children enrolled at the school and the archdiocese says most travel on buses from Ballymun, which is seven kilometres away.

In a statement, the department said the school had a special designation dating from a period when separate education provision for members of the Traveller community was the norm.

It said the phasing out of segregated education provision for Traveller children was in accordance with national policy, which had been developed with Traveller representative groups.

It says Tusla's Educational Welfare Service is now involved in finding future education provision for the students and is available to work with parents to source school places.

These students include three who are due to sit their Leaving Certificate exams in 2019.

A 2006 department inspection identified "significant shortcomings in the structure and operation" of the school.

It found students attending the segregated school had "a lack of opportunity for inclusive education with students who are not Travellers."

"The social variety and the intellectual stimulation and challenge of attending school with students who are not Travellers is not available", it said.

The inspection found that no homework was given to the students and the duration of the school day was that of a primary school, ending at 2.20pm, despite the fact that it caters for secondary school age students.

It found poor attendance and what it called "inconsistent" learning behaviour.

It also found a significant number of students left school early without completing junior cycle programmes and without certification.

The report said that neither Irish nor any modern language was taught as a subject there.

English, maths, science, history, home economics and art were the only academic subjects offered.

The report said the provision of education to Traveller children in segregated settings was "no longer consistent" with Department of Education policy.

Citing national policy supporting the inclusion of Traveller children in mainstream schools, the report concluded by stating that "this school and two other schools within the education system find themselves unusually placed in relation to this policy."

It said the implication of this anomaly "needs to be fully considered by the Department of Education."

In its response to the 2006 inspection findings, the school said it looked forward to a future that was reflective of current policy "with adequate provision and support that protects and furthers the rights of our most vulnerable young people."

Speaking on RTÉ's Liveline programme a teacher said the school was extremely upset and shocked at the imminent closure.

John, who teaches English at the school, said while he did not agree with segregated education, there was a lot of stigma in the Traveller community about education. He said it felt like they were selling the students out.

Staff at the school say they want a two-year phased closure to allow students finish their current education cycles.

The mother of one student told Liveline that her son had done his Junior Cert last year. She said the staff had encouraged and pushed her son and other pupils to work and learn.