The first crop of students from Collinstown Park Community College sat their Leaving Certificate examination in 1989. It had been well established in research at that time, and indeed subsequently, that students living in areas such as Neilstown and Rowlagh were finding it difficult to proceed to third level education in the same proportion as their peers elsewhere. The reasons for this are many and complex. However the college resolved to do whatever it could to redress this position for our own pupils.
An approach was made to the then Clondalkin Partnership to seek funding in order to help her students over and above the service that was available in the school. It has to be recorded that we received full support from the Partnership in this endeavour and they very quickly funded our initiative. There were various aspects to it including supervised tuition after school and a scholarship scheme.
The programme was started in Collinstown Park Community College and our sister school St Kevin’s in January 1997. The following year it was extended to Deansrath Community College and additional funding was made available by the Department of Education. The programme has proved to be very successful due to the dedication of the teachers and pupils involved and the support of parents.
The project has some close links with a range of third level institutions which enable the school to assist a student to secure a place in college. The CHEAP programme today supports activities such as Sixth Year and Third Year study, Maths tuition hours for Sixth Year students and Language provison hours for Sixth Year students. In First Year a debating programme has been established with guidance from UCD.