You can help us with the development work being undertaken by the children, parents and the many professionals that have dedicated themselves to this very special community.
Saint Ultan’s is an integrated Campus providing a full suite of services and supports for children and families on one site in Cherry Orchard. The services and supports include nursery, childcare, early education, primary education, social care and therapies and youth facilities all in one Campus. The Campus is unique in that it is one location and creates a safe and seamless experience for children and families as they transition through the stages of early childhood care, education, care and support.
The Campus is where the whole child (and his/her family context) is valued and where they can experience support and care in subtle and yet empowering ways.
The Campus supports children from as young as 3 months to 18 years and beyond, and we also provide supports to their parents, guardians and grandparents.
The emphasis is on education as a route out of disadvantage and yet in a shared setting — St Ultan’s is unique in that is more than just a school and a care setting. It is a Campus and both a tangible and intangible presence in the community.
The governance of St Ultan’s is notable in that it has journeyed through significant learning and development over the last 12 years. Although St Ultan’s has two boards, one for the primary school and one for the care side, they share a common chairperson, and they hold a joint meeting every quarter. St. Ultan’s also has a service and administrative function which supports both legal entities. The following are commendable features of St Ultan’s governance structures and processes:
■ Strong Boards (with range of skills and experience and commitment to the Model)
■ Collaborative and communicative campus management structure
■ Three Campus Managers working together with complementary skill sets
■ Hard working and enthusiastic staff who have bought into the St Ultan’s approach
■ Openness to evaluations and model enhancement
■ Open to reflective practice and learning as an organisation
■ Good linkages with local, regional and national stakeholders
■ Long-term funding arrangements with government bodies are underpinned by Service Level Agreements
Cherry Orchard which is located adjacent to Ballyfermot had a population of just under 8,000 in 2016 (Projected to increase significantly, with current housing developments planned). Over a third of families in Cherry Orchard have pre-adolescents or adolescents which is higher than the average of 20% for Dublin City as a whole.
The lone parent ratio for Cherry Orchard is over 45%, nearly double that for Dublin City. In 2016, over a third of households in Cherry Orchard were living in Local Authority rented accommodation, compared with 12% for Dublin City.
Cherry Orchard suffers from poor educational attainment. Just under a quarter of those living in the area had primary education only (compared with 11% for Dublin City) The proportion of people in Dublin City with third level education was 45%, but in Cherry Orchard, the equivalent figure was just 19%.