Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (379)

Thomas Byrne

Question:

379. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills when the patronage survey process for a new school in Donabate, County Dublin will commence. [13698/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government recently announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022), including a new 16 classroom primary school to be established in 2020 for the Donabate school planning area.

A patronage process is run after it has been decided, based on demographic analysis, that a new school is required. This patronage process is open to all patron bodies and prospective patrons. Parental preferences for each patron, from parents of children who reside in the school planning areas concerned, together with the extent of diversity currently available in these areas, are key to decisions in relation to the outcome of this process.

An Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) website has been developed by my Department to provide objective information to all parents which will allow them to make an informed choice about their preferred model of patronage for their child’s education and their preferred language of instruction. Parental preferences were previously collected based on direct engagement with patron bodies.

The patronage process for new schools is overseen by an external independent advisory group, the New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG). Following their consideration of my Department’s assessment reports, the NSEG submits a report with recommendations to me for consideration and final decision. The assessment reports and the NSEG recommendations for all such patronage processes are made available on my Department's website.

The patronage process for the 4 post-primary schools and 12 primary schools to be established in 2019 has been completed. The patronage process for the schools to be established in September 2020, including the school referred to by the Deputy, will commence later this year, significantly ahead of their due opening dates. Updates in relation to further patronage processes will be announced on the OPPS website and the Department’s website (www.education.ie).