Tuesday, 28 February 2006

Questions (450, 451)

Emmet Stagg

Question:

481 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Education and Science the number of classes currently operating in the new national school in Naas, County Kildare; the number anticipated to be operating in 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09; if the new 16 classroom schools is to be fully utilised; the enrolment policy for the school; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8273/06]

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Catherine Murphy

Question:

482 Ms C. Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Science if, due to the difficulties with primary school provision in a town (details supplied) in County Kildare whereby the three primary schools currently in place cater for either single sex only or co-educational only up until a certain age which is causing some parents to have several children placed in several primary schools at once, she will consider allowing a newly built fully co-educational school to accept pupils of all age ranges as opposed to only infants; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8284/06]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 481 and 482 together.

Currently, two junior infant classes are accommodated in the new national school to which the Deputy refers. When fully occupied, the school will operate as a two-stream, 16-classroom school. To enable it develop in this manner, it can only enrol two junior infant classes annually. This incremental development is common to all newly established schools to ensure that a shortage of accommodation at the school is avoided by an over enrolment in the early stages and crucially, to ensure that the enrolments and staffing levels in other schools in the area, where older pupils would inevitably be drawn, are not adversely affected. My Department is awaiting details of an agreed enrolment policy from the primary providers in the area to ensure that the development of the new school is underpinned as envisaged. It is satisfied that, in accordance with its remit, the totality of the primary accommodation available in the area provides sufficient places to cater for all those seeking places.