I can confirm for the Deputy that while my Department is aware of the Patron's proposals to merge the schools concerned, I have not received any proposal from the Patron in the matter. The decision making authority for any school amalgamation belongs to the school's patron and this is subject to the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills.
The initiative for any amalgamation may come from a variety of sources, such as parents, staff, Board of Management and patron(s). Any such proposal to amalgamate schools must first involve consultation with all of the relevant stakeholders. Following the consultation process, a decision taken at local level will follow. In that regard, any proposed changes must be well planned and managed in a manner that accommodates the interests of students, parents, teachers, local communities and contributes to an inclusive education system. The Patron and relevant stakeholders are also advised by the Department to consider the implications that any amalgamation proposal may have on school funding, school staffing and school transport so that an informed decision can be made.