Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (155)

Robert Troy


155. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Education and Skills if there are sufficient places at second-level in Mullingar, County Westmeath and the wider area. [36959/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

In order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas and uses a Geographical Information System, using data from a range of sources, to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. With this information, my Department carries out nationwide demographic exercises to determine where additional school accommodation is needed at primary and post-primary level. Approximately 40% of extra school places are delivered by extending existing schools.

As the Deputy will be aware, in April 2018, the Government announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022). The announcement followed nationwide, demographic exercises carried out by my Department into the future need for primary and post-primary schools across the country. While the announcement did not include a new school for the Mullingar School planning area, the requirement for new schools will be kept under on-going review and will have regard for the increased roll-out of housing provision as outlined in Project Ireland 2040.

The Deputy will be aware that a major capital project for St. Finian’s College is included in the Department’s school building programme to be delivered as part of the National Development Plan. In addition, major building projects for 4 post primary schools in Kilbeggan, Rochfortbridge, Castlepollard and Moate are also included in my Department’s school building programme.

The Capital Programme details the school projects that are being progressed under project Ireland 2040. I wish to advise the Deputy that the current status of large-scale projects being delivered under project Ireland 2040 may be viewed on my Department's website, www.education.ie and this information is updated regularly. In addition, a list of large-scale projects completed from 2010 to date may also be viewed on the website.

The Capital Programme also provides for devolved funding for additional classrooms, if required, for schools where an immediate enrolment need has been identified or where an additional teacher has been appointed. Details of schools listed on this programme can be found on my Department's website www.education.ie and this information is also updated regularly.