I propose to take Questions Nos. 124 and 125 together.
In order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas. My Department uses a Geographical Information System (GIS) to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. The GIS uses data from a range of sources, including the Central Statistics Office, Ordnance Survey Ireland, the Department of Social Protection and my Department's own databases. With this information, my Department carries out nationwide demographic exercises at primary and post primary level to determine where additional school accommodation is needed.
Where demographic data indicates that additional provision is required, the delivery of the additional provision is dependent on the particular circumstances of each case and may, depending on the circumstances, be provided through either one, or a combination of, the following:
- Utilising existing unused capacity with a school or schools,
- Extending the capacity of a school or schools,
- Provision of a new school(s).
The nationwide demographic exercises involving all school planning areas, including the areas referred to by the Deputy, at primary and post-primary level is ongoing at the moment and work in this regard is almost complete.