CMETB student numbers rise

There were 5,802 students enrolled at the 11 secondary schools operated by Cavan-Monaghan ETB in 2022, a rise of 7.84 per cent, according to a newly drafted annual report, the contents of which was shared with board members at the May monthly meeting.

The increase of 422 students was shared across the board, with the largest school populations at Cavan Town’s Breifne College (876); Virginia (808); Beech Hill in Monaghan (778); and Dun na Rí in Kingscourt (686).

There were also 604 students enrolled at Carrickmacross last year, 455 in Clones, 362 in Castleblayney, 357 in Ballybay, 273 at St Mogue’s in Bawnboy, and 198 at St Bricin’s in Belturbet.

Coupled with that CMETB is one of the biggest employers in Cavan and Monaghan, with a significant workforce of 1,400 part-time and full-time staff, providing service to 14,802 learners including those attending third level.

Chief Executive Fiona McGrath said the annual report highlighted many significant achievements during 2022.

“There has been a substantial growth in student numbers, reflecting the high-quality education being provided for the young people whose parents have entrusted them to us,” she said in a statement attached.

New Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) classes in were opened at Largy College, Breifne College and Virginia College in August 2022, bringing the number to 22, and the ETB had extended its subject offering to include Polish, and also cater for the new intake of 385 Ukrainian children fleeing the war in their home country.

Ms McGrath further noted that, during 2022, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact on teaching, learning and wellbeing in locals schools and FET, and she assured that the education body was well positioned in terms of meeting and overcoming such challenges.

Six new learner support hubs have been developed at Further Education and Training (FET) level, and the ETB reduced the cost of enrolment to a flat fee of €200, with more than 400 learners also receiving supplementary support.

This was welcomed by ETB Board chair Cllr Carmel Brady.

She said she been a board member for a number of years but that being chair had opened her eyes fully to the continuous work taking place.