About Mullingar Community College
In Mullingar Community College our Mission is to provide an educational environment that will enable each pupil to develop his potential academically, physically, socially and spiritually. We strive to develop and maintain a safe, supportive and caring school which seeks to provide the best opportunities for each individual to develop his or her potential to the full. Everyone in Mullingar Community College is a valued member of the school community and diversity is a cornerstone of the school's culture.
Mullingar Community College first opened its doors as Mullingar Technical School , under the terms of the Vocational Education Act, 1933. The then CEO, Michael O'Boyle, took rooms , including the Supper Room, in the County Buildings, which had once housed the local jail. The curriculum included Irish, English, Woodwork, Typing, and Home Economics. Teachers, led by principal P.J. Lyons, a teacher of Woodwork, also travelled to outlying centres to give classes. In about 1936, as numbers grew, the school advanced further into County Buildings, to improved accommodation, continuing to teach the subjects named above. Day and night classes were provided. The focus was on providing vocational education, as a direct preparation for employment, for students who were not catered for in other local second level schools, and were thus unlikely to continue in education after primary school.
In 1952, after a process that began in 1939, the school relocated to a new building on its present location on Millmount Road , in grounds previously owned by the County Tennis Club. This fine two storey building was officially opened on 3/2/1953 , by Sean Moylan, Minister of Education at the time. The principal was Tom Ryan, who led a teaching staff of 7. Student numbers had risen to almost 200. Subjects including Irish, English, Woodwork, Typing, and Home Economics were taught to day pupils, Metalwork, Art and Gregg Shorthand were soon added to the curriculum.
The target for day students at this time was to achieve a pass, or better, in the Day Vocational Group Cert exam, which qualified them to study for a trade, or to take up employment. The school also provided secretarial training for girls who wished to commence employment in local businesses and government offices. Another area of employment-related technical education was the training of apprentice mechanics, on day release from local garages. Night classes in a diverse range of subjects continued to be a feature of the school's engagement with the needs of the local community.
After the introduction of free education and the related school transport scheme in 1967 by Donough O'Malley, student numbers at the school grew rapidly, in line with national trends. To accommodate this influx of students, a large number of prefab classrooms were added, covering much of the school site. These prefabs soon came to comprise the majority of classroom space in the school. Two much needed extensions, in the 1970s and the 1990s, replaced these prefabs.
Paralleling this growth in accommodation was a major increase in teaching staff; a considerable number of newly qualified teachers were recruited for the school throughout the 1960s and 1970s, a number of whom are now either senior teachers or recently retired.
A significant step forward was taken in 1969, when the school offered students the opportunity to sit the Intermediate Certificate, as well as the Group Cert. From then on, the majority of students sat both exams. In 1971, students at the school sat the Leaving Certificate for the first time. This transition, in conjunction with ongoing syllabus reform at national level, represented a significant effort and achievement on the part of management and the teaching staff. The Group Cert was eventually superseded by the Junior and Leaving Certs, and finally phased out in 1992.
Another innovative educational strand was introduced in 1976, the Pre-Employment Class. This was intended to cater for students who were either unable or unlikely to complete the course for Leaving Cert. A commitment to serving such students has continued to be a central element of the college's sense of mission, and is currently embodied in the Leaving Cert Applied programme, commenced in 1996.
This commitment to the retention of students who might otherwise leave school was further underlined in 1990 when the school became involved with the Stay in School Programme, later to become the School Completion Programme. In tandem with this, the Junior Cert Schools Programme was made available to render Junior Cycle more palatable and more productive for students experiencing difficulties in maintaining motivation and staying in school. The emerging worldwide trend in the direction of individualised education is reflected in this increased provision of subject and programme choice, in conjunction with increased levels of learning support for weaker and non English speaking pupils, within the college.
Throughout its history, the college has offered vocationally focussed education in (originally) Secretarial classes, and currently in PLC classes (Business, IT, and Beauty Therapy). The curriculum in these areas has evolved, to meet the requirements of local and national industries. At present, students study for a range of qualifications, including ECDL, FETAC awards at various skill levels, and other qualifications.
From its inception after the Vocational Education Act in1933, , the school has had four principals; P.J. Lyons (1936 – 1949), Tom Ryan (1949 – 1978 ), John Maher (1978 - 2003), Ann Hanly(2003 – 2007). Chris Rowley ( 2009- present) Since the move to Millmount Road , the College has expanded, both spatially and educationally, to meet the needs of a local community that continues to redefine itself.