History of Taney Parish Primary School
Earliest records indicate that Taney Parish Primary School was established as a parochial and charitable school for the underprivileged of the Parish in 1792, though there is some indication that there may have been a Taney School even earlier. In common with other parish schools at the time, Taney Parish Primary School provided not just an education, but also clothes and food for children. For the year ended 1793, the schoolmaster received a salary of £15, the schoolmistress received £6, while £22 was expended on clothing and £15 on food.
The school’s charitable status changed in 1898 when it joined the National Education System and was assigned its very own school roll number, 15284, a number it retains right up to the present day. Mr. Joseph McCaughey was the first School Principal paid by the State. At the young age of 29, he took charge of a school of 58 pupils (23 girls and 35 boys). For the 24-year period to Irish Independence, the numbers grew slightly, a third teacher was appointed and the subjects taught were English, Mathematics, History, Geography, Experimental Science, Needlework and Cookery.
Nestling in what was, up until the 1960s, a relatively rural community, enrolments of pupils increased by only just under 1/3 between 1920 and 1960, from 75 to 99 pupils. However, while in 1960 the school was still located in the 1897 building in Eglinton Terrace, it became clear with the ever-increasing expansion of Dublin City that the school was set to grow rapidly. This period of expansion coincided with the appointment of a new Principal in 1959: the energetic and forward-thinking Mr. Robert (Bobby) W. Smyth, who led the school through this growth phase. The Department of Education was prevailed upon to sanction and build a six-classroom school which was opened in November 1970.
However, expansion continued and by 1979, the school had grown to be an 18-teacher facility. Mr. Smyth retired in 1978 and Mrs. Beryl Tilson was appointed Principal in his place, the first woman to hold this post in Taney Parish Primary School. During her long and illustrious period as Principal, up until she retired in 2000, the school engaged in a huge building programme, replacing the many prefabricated classrooms with a purpose-built, state of the art structure which meets the needs of the school community into the 21st Century.
Mr. William Stuart, who already had strong links with the school and parish, took over upon Mrs. Tilson’s retirement in October 2000. During his 10 years at the helm, an extension to the school, containing learning support rooms and a fine new library / drama space, was completed and the old 1960s roof was replaced. Under the guidance of Mrs. Elizabeth Carpenter, who assumed the role of Principal in November 2010, further works were carried out on the school buildings and environs. Mrs Rachel Fraser was appointed principal in September 2021 and continues to lead the school forward, with her team of staff, equipping the pupils with the skills they will need to succeed in a rapidly changing world.
Today, Taney Parish Primary School is the largest Church of Ireland national school in the Republic of Ireland, with 407 pupils and a staff of 23 teachers. Poised to go from strength to strength through the 21st Century, this fine school is characterised predominantly by its happy atmosphere and its focus on a child-centred approach to education, where every individual child is a most valuable member of the school community. The fine tradition and foundation of over 200 years serving the community of Dundrum continues apace to meet the challenges of a changing society.