School principals from the Ennis area of County Clare have written to the Department of Education and Skills expressing frustration and disappointment at the current situation which finds up to 40 sixth class pupils in the Ennis area and surroundings without post primary school placements for the coming September.

In the letter the principals express concern that the situation disproportionately impacts pupils from the traveller community and from disadvantaged areas as well as pupils with Special Education Needs.

They are asking the Department for an urgent response for the current pupils and for the coming years.

They warn that a similar situation will arise in 2020 because of the lack of post primary school places to meet the needs in the area.

Principal of Ennis Educate Together, Catriona Golden said that the current situation is causing immense stress for both pupils and parents.

Gaelscoil Mhichíl Chiosóg Principal Dónal Ó Hainiféin said that there is an urgent need for the Department to step in and establish a common enrolment process for the Ennis area as a whole. 

That process was established in Limerick a number of years ago to address similar difficulties.

In a statement a spokesperson for the Department of Education said; "The Department of Education and Skills understands that post-primary schools in Ennis have made offers of school places and some of those offers have yet to be accepted.

"In addition, students may have applied to and been offered places in a number of schools and have yet to accept or decline these offers, or may have accepted a place in more than one school.

"It is open to any of the post-primary schools in Ennis to submit an application to the Department for interim temporary accommodation should this be required to meet an immediate enrolment need."

An extension at Ennis Community College to cater for projected demographic growth in the area is due to commence on site shortly and when completed, will provide capacity for an additional 200 students.