Thursday, 2 May 2013

Questions (86)

Joe McHugh

Question:

86. Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will review a submission from a school (details supplied) in County Donegal that proposes to continue to provide a valuable educational facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20941/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

As the Deputy will be aware, permanent recognition was granted to the Aonod Gaelach at the school in question from 1st September 2010 on the basis of a projected enrolment of over 50 pupils. Since permanent recognition was granted, the Aonod Gaelach enrolment has declined year on year with a total enrolment of 7 pupils for the 2012/2013 academic year. In light of the dramatic decrease in enrolments at the Aonod Gaelach since permanent recognition was granted in 2010, concerns have been raised regarding its viability. In October 2012, the Department contacted the school authorities and requested that immediate action be taken to increase the Aonod Gaelach enrolments. The school authorities responded in November 2012 providing information as to mechanisms being employed to encourage pupils to study through the medium of Irish and its committment to increasing the enrolment attending the Aonod Gaelach. In that context, the Department set a target enrolment to be reached by 2016/2017. In the event this target is not reached, a further review of the future viability of the Aonad Gaelach will be conducted in 2016/17.