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.
Major new residential developments in a school planning area have the potential to alter demand in an area. In that regard, as part of the demographic exercises, my Department engages with each of the local authorities to obtain up-to-date data on significant new residential developments in each area. This is necessary to ensure that schools infrastructure planning is keeping pace with demographic changes as there is a constantly evolving picture with planned new residential development.
Where demographic data indicates that additional provision is required, the delivery of such additional provision is dependent on the particular circumstances of each case and may, depending on the circumstances, be provided through either one, or a combination of, the following:
- Utilising existing unused capacity within a school or schools,
- Extending the capacity of a school or schools,
- Provision of a new school or schools.
For school planning purposes, Hollystown is located in the Mulhuddart_Tyrrelstown_D15 school planning area. A new 1,000 pupil post-primary school (Le Chéile Secondary School) was established in 2014 to serve this school planning area and had just over 600 pupils enrolled in the 2018/19 school year. In addition, two new 16 classroom primary schools were established to serve this school planning area, Powerstown ETNS in 2011 and Gaelscoil an Chuilinn in 2012, both of which have existing capacity.
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), including a new post-primary school to be established in 2020 to serve the adjacent school planning areas of Blanchardstown_West_Dublin15 and BlanchardstownVge_Dublin15 as a regional solution.
While the recent announcement did not include a new school for the Mulhuddart_Tyrrelstown_D15 school planning area, the requirement for new schools will be kept under on-going review and in particular will have regard for the increased rollout of housing provision as outlined in Project Ireland 2040.