Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (264)

Kate O'Connell

Question:

264. Deputy Kate O'Connell asked the Minister for Education and Skills the forthcoming patronage process for the new post-primary school for Citywest and Saggart; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34827/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government announced plans in April 2018 for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022) including a new 1,000-pupil post-primary school to be established in September 2020 to serve the Tallaght & Newcastle-Rathcoole (Citywest/Saggart) school planning areas as a regional solution.

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. The application process for patrons to run this school has been completed. 

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.

The Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) has been developed by my Department to provide objective information to parents and guardians which will allow them to make an informed choice in expressing a preference for their preferred model of patronage for their child’s education.

The OPPS for the new post-primary school in Citywest/Saggart will open for parental preferences shortly. Updates in relation to the patronage process will be announced on the OPPS website (https://patronage.education.gov.ie/) and my Department’s website (www.education.ie).

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 assessment reports and the NSEG recommendations for all such patronage processes are made available on my Department's website.