Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (205)

Declan Breathnach

Question:

205. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Education and Skills the level of secondary school places available in 2019 by school in County Louth and east County Meath in tabular form; the level of demand for these places; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52030/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department does not hold the specific information to which he refers.

More detailed information relating to enrolment levels in all primary and post schools nationwide is available on the Department's website at the following link:

https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Statistics/Data-on-Individual-Schools.

In relation to school admissions, parents can choose which school to apply to and where the school has places available, the pupil should be admitted. However, in schools where there are more applicants than places available, a selection process may be necessary. This selection process and the enrolment policy on which it is based must be non-discriminatory and must be applied fairly in respect of all applicants. However, this may result in some pupils not obtaining a place in the school of their first choice. The Deputy will note however that the selection process procedures and enrolment policy are the responsibility of the individual school authorities.

The Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018, which was signed by the President on 18 July 2018, is an important piece of legislation which will introduce a more parent-friendly, equitable and consistent approach to how school admissions policy operates for the almost 4,000 primary and post-primary schools in this country and a fair and balanced school admission process for all pupils.

The Deputy will be aware that my Department announced that a new post-primary school will be established for the Drogheda & Laytown area in Co Louth, to open in September 2019.

I also wish to advise the Deputy that my Department's capital investment programme provides for devolved funding for additional classrooms for existing schools where an immediate enrolment need has been identified.