Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (242)

Michael Harty

Question:

242. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the lack of places for secondary school students in Ennis for the academic year 2019/2020 will be investigated and addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21452/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department understands that post primary schools in Ennis have made offers of school places and some of those offers have yet to accepted. In addition, students may have applied to and been offered places in a number of schools and have yet to accept or decline these offers or have accepted a place in more than one school.

As the Deputy may be aware, the Education (Admission to Schools) Act was signed into law by the President on 18th July 2018.  The overall objective of the Act is to provide a new framework for school enrolment that is designed to ensure that every child is treated fairly and that the way in which schools decide on applications for admission is structured, fair and transparent.

Section 66 of the Act, which was commenced on the 3rd October 2018 and is now operational, relates to Co-operation of Boards. It provides for schools, for the purposes of facilitating the efficient admission of students, to share information with each other in respect of applications received, offers made and offers accepted. However, it is a matter for each school to decide whether they wish to share these details with the other schools for the purposes of efficiently processing applications for admission in an area.

It is open to any of the post primary schools in Ennis to submit an application to the Department for interim temporary accommodation should this be required to meet an immediate enrolment need.

An extension at Ennis Community College to cater for projected demographic growth in the area is due to commence on site shortly and when completed, will provide capacity for an additional 200 students.