Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (273)

Michael McGrath

Question:

273. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to establish a new primary school for Carrigaline, County Cork; when the school will be established; the position concerning the patronage of the school; the location of the school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31006/19]

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 to serve the Carrigaline school planning area. This announcement follows nationwide demographic exercises carried out by my Department into the future need for primary and post-primary schools across the country and the 4-year horizon will enable increased lead-in times for planning and delivery of the necessary infrastructure.

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) 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. Parental preferences will be 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 will submit a report with recommendations to me for consideration and final decision.

The patronage process for schools due to be established in 2020, including the school referred to by the Deputy, will be run later this year. Updates in relation to further patronage processes will be announced on the OPPS website and the Department’s website (www.education.ie).

The school will be established in September 2020 in suitable interim accommodation. My Department is currently identifying site options and a determination regarding the permanent location for the school will be made as soon as possible.