Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (265)

John Lahart


265. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to a proposal to house six classes from a secondary school in a nearby Gaelscoil (details supplied); if his Department approved plans for such a move; his views on whether such a move would impact on the ethos of the school; his plans to prevent the move; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18584/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Officials from my Department have been in discussions and ongoing communication with the school patrons of both the Gaelscoil and the secondary school to which the Deputy refers in relation to the matter of sufficient suitable accommodation for all of the schools on the campus for September 2019.

There are two primary schools in permanent buildings on a campus in the area referred to by the Deputy and both will have vacant classrooms in the coming academic year. In order to accommodate the needs of the secondary school for September 2019 which is currently accommodated in one of the primary schools it will be necessary to utilise some available classrooms in both the primary schools.

My Department is very aware of the need to maintain the Gaelscoil ethos around language and will endeavour to ensure that the minimum disruption is caused to the Gaelscoil.

This arrangement is only required for the next academic year 2019/2020 as my Department seeks an alternative site location for the secondary school for September 2020.

With regard to the permanent location for the secondary school, as the Deputy may be aware, agreement in principle was previously reached with a landowner on a site, however, this site has failed to progress through planning permission stage. The Department is now progressing an alternative suitable site. Due to the commercially sensitive nature of site acquisitions generally, it is not possible to comment further at this stage but I can assure you that the acquisition of a suitable site for the school is very active on the programme of site acquisitions and every effort is being made to secure the suitable site for the school as expeditiously as possible.