Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Questions (94)

Finian McGrath

Question:

94. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide an update on the proposal to amalgamate schools (details supplied) in Dublin 10; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21813/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that while my Department is aware of the Patron's proposals to merge the schools concerned, the Department has not received any proposal from the Patron in the matter. The Department understands that the Patron has had discussions with the relevant stakeholders in the Dublin 10 area as part of its assessment as to future school accommodation needs in that regard. The Deputy will be aware that I have said on several occasions that any decisions to amalgamate schools will be voluntary and follow decisions taken at a local level. Amalgamation proposals must first involve consultation with all of the relevant stakeholders, including students, parents, teachers, and local communities. It must be well planned and managed in a manner that accommodates the interests of all stakeholders and contributes to an inclusive education system. The Patron and relevant stakeholders are required 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. All agreed amalgamation proposals must be submitted to my Department for approval. Proposals that may have major capital implications can only be considered within the context of my Department's capital budget and the challenges facing my Department in meeting national demographic demands.