Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Questions (201)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

201. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4963/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

As the Deputy would be aware, in most rural and provincial areas, there is generally one post-primary school that is attended by most of the students in that area. However, parents and students in larger urban areas have a greater choice of post primary schools. Among the factors that comes into consideration when selecting a school are the schools admissions policy, the range of subjects offered by the school, the various Programmes offered, school facilities and extra-curricular activities etc. The choice of post primary school is an important decision and parents and students must have the option of weighing up all the factors that a school has to offer and which best serves their individual needs and educational requirements.

A student can attend the post-primary school of their choice, provided there is a place available. Where there is an accommodation problem, the school must give priority on the basis of its enrolment policy which is drawn up by their board of management. While most post-primary schools are in a position to enroll all students who apply, there is no automatic guarantee of a place in the school that the student chooses.

On this basis therefore parents and students, in order to avoid disappointment, will initially register interest in more than one post primary school in order to increase the likelihood that they will be accepted into a school that meets their needs. When the student officially accepts the offer of a place in a particular school, they are then officially enrolled into that school.

As final enrolment plans may not be known until late August, my Department’s Post Primary Online Database (P-POD) permits enrolment in more than one school to facilitate this. All post-primary schools are required to make their returns of students (known as the October Returns) via P-POD. Any multi enrolments of a student that may exist at that time are identified by P-POD administrative staff, who follow up these returns with the schools in question and ascertain which school has officially enrolled the student. The enrolment data for the other schools is then amended accordingly. Any grants or special needs resources allocated to schools are based on this (verified) October Return enrolment figure.