Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Questions (103)

Joan Collins


103. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason there has been no contact with a group (details supplied) on expanding the catchment area of the Harold's Cross school site to include Dublin 8 and Dublin 12. [27132/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I can confirm that a comprehensive response issued to the representatives of the group referred to by the Deputy on the 7th May.

As the Deputy will be aware, in 2018 a new 1,000 pupil co-educational, multi-denominational school under the patronage of Educate Together was established to serve the Dublin 8 school planning area, along with the Dublin2_Dublin4 and Dublin6_Clonskeagh school planning areas as a regional solution.

In April 2018, the Government also announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022), including new post-primary schools for areas adjacent to Dublin 8 and Dublin 12 as follows:

- a new 1,000 pupil post-primary school to be established in 2020 as a regional solution to serve the Dublin 6_Clonskeagh and Dublin_6W school planning areas; and

- a new 600 pupil post-primary school to be established in 2021 to serve the Dublin 2_Dublin 4 school planning area.

All new schools established since 2011 to meet demographic demand are required, in the first instance, to prioritise pupil applications from within the designated school planning area(s) which the school was established to serve. This does not preclude schools from enrolling pupils from outside of the designated school planning area where they have sufficient places.

These new schools will reduce pressure on schools in the adjacent school planning areas, including the Dublin 8 and 12 areas. I understand that the existing schools in the Dublin 8 and Dublin 12 school planning areas have capacity to accommodate demand in the area at present.

The Deputy may wish to note that the patronage model of the post-primary schools due to open in 2020 and 2021 has not yet been decided. Patronage processes for the new schools will be undertaken in advance of their opening and will be open to all patron bodies.

The Deputy may also wish to note that City of Dublin ETB and Educate Together have been working together in relation to extending the co-educational and multi-denominational educational provision at second level schools in Dublin 12 and Dublin 7. I understand that significant progress has been made in this regard and work is planned to continue over the summer period. I am supportive of this initiative which has the potential to add to and enhance the availability of additional choice in these areas and my Department is engaging with the bodies concerned in this regard. This initiative represents an opportunity to increase diversity of provision in existing schools in areas where a new school is not required.