I thank the Deputy for raising this issue and giving me the opportunity to outline to the House the position regarding school developments in east Cork. In order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas and uses a geographical information system, GIS. The GIS uses data from a range of sources, including child benefit data from the Department of Social Protection and my Department's own school enrolment databases, to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise.
The process has been strengthened this year through three specific initiatives, the first of which is enhanced engagement with local authorities in respect of the information on residential development incorporated in the analysis process. The second initiative entails additional engagement on school place requirements with patron bodies regarding their local knowledge. Education and training boards, ETBs, diocesan offices and national patron bodies such as Educate Together, An Foras Pátrúnachta and so on can also be important sources of local knowledge. This will add to information provided to the Department by local authorities or individual schools. The third initiative involves utilising the information gleaned from schools under the national inventory of school capacity completed by individual schools last year as part of the October returns process.
Where data indicate that additional provision is required at primary or post-primary level, its delivery is dependent on the particular circumstances of each case and may be provided through either one, or a combination of, the following: utilising existing unused capacity within a school or schools; extending the capacity of a school or schools; or the provision of a new school or schools.
Similar to the process adopted for September 2020 readiness, the Department will engage further with patron bodies in the coming weeks in advance of identifying specific September 2021 capacity pressure point priorities that will necessitate specific action. In a "normal" year, addressing the increased demands for school places, while challenging, is manageable, generally through utilisation of existing spare capacity within schools, rental, temporary accommodation or other short-term measures pending the delivery of permanent accommodation.
Building projects are in train or proposed for a number of post-primary schools in Cork East, which is the area of specific interest to the Deputy. Carrigtwohill Community College is a co-educational post-primary school established in 2016. It is currently located in temporary accommodation pending the construction of a permanent school building. The new school building will have capacity for 1,000 pupils. It is at stage 2b of the architectural planning process and planning permission has been granted. Pending the construction of the permanent building, the Department has approved additional temporary accommodation to cater for the school's immediate needs. This project is part of a new three-school campus development in Carrigtwohill. The other two schools to be located on the campus are Scoil Chlíodhna and Scoil Mhuire Naofa.
St. Aloysius's College, Carrigtwohill, is an all-girls post-primary school with an enrolment of 776 for the 2019-20 school year. The Department has approved a grant to the school to facilitate its expansion to cater for 1,000 pupils. The project has been devolved to the school authority for delivery.
St. Colman's Community College, Midleton, is a co-educational post-primary school with an enrolment of 775 pupils for the 2019-20 school year. A building project for the school that will provide capacity for 1,000 pupils is currently on site and is due to be completed in the coming weeks.
Pobalscoil na Tríonóide, Youghal, is a co-educational post-primary school with an enrolment of 977 pupils for the 2019-20 school year. The Department has approved a grant to the school to facilitate its expansion to cater for 1,200 pupils. The project has been devolved to the school authority for delivery.
Carrignafoy Community College, Cobh, is a co-educational post-primary school with an enrolment of 321 pupils for the 2019-20 school year. A building project to expand the school's capacity to cater for 600 pupils is at the early stage of the architectural planning process. The project is being delivered by the patron, Cork ETB.
Coláiste Muire, Cobh, is a co-educational school with an enrolment of 666 pupils for the 2019-20 school year. An application for additional accommodation has been received from the school and is under assessment in the Department. A decision on the application will be conveyed to the school authority when the assessment process has been completed.
St. Mary's High School, Midleton, is an all-girls post-primary school with an enrolment of 718 pupils for the 2019-20 school year. An application for additional accommodation has been received by the Department and is under assessment. A decision on the application will be conveyed to the school authority when the assessment process has been completed.