Thursday, 9 May 2019

Questions (65)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

65. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a site has been considered for the new second-level school for south County Kildare; if negotiations have begun with the Department of Defence; the details of correspondence on same; and the number of meetings that have taken place between the KWETB and Educate Together. [20215/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

As the Deputy will be aware, my Department recently completed a review of provision at post-primary level across the school planning areas in the South Kildare area. My Department is satisfied that the needs in the area can be met through the replacement and expansion of the existing Curragh Post-Primary School with a new 1,000 pupil school building. It is intended that the expansion of the existing Curragh Post-Primary school, a multi-denominational Community College under the patronage of Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB), will also cater for demand arising in the adjoining Newbridge and Kildare school planning areas. There is capacity in the existing Curragh Post-Primary school building pending delivery of the new school .

A new site will be required for the new school and my Department has commenced the site identification process. In line with protocols for the use of State property assets, my Department has written to the Department of Defence enquiring if the Department is in a position to provide a site that could be suitable. Due to commercial sensitivities surrounding site acquisitions in general, I cannot comment further at this point in the process, though I can assure the Deputy that my Department is making every effort to progress the matter.

Some initial engagement has taken place in relation to the potential for Educate Together to become a Trustee Partner for the school in a similar arrangement to those implemented elsewhere (e.g. Clonturk Community College with City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB) as patron of the school and Educate Together as a Trustee Partner). The Department is satisfied that the needs of the area can be met through the expansion of this multi-denominational post-primary school.