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 that area. In that regard, as part of the demographic exercises, my Department engages with each of the local authorities to obtain the up-to-date data on significant new residential development 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 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.
The following new primary schools were established in recent years to serve school planning areas in Dublin 15:
- a new 16 classroom primary school established in 2011 to serve the Blanchardstown_West_D15 school planning area;
- a new 16 classroom primary school established in 2011 to serve the Mulhuddart_Tyrellstown_D15 school planning area;
- a new 16 classroom primary school established in 2012 to serve the Mulhuddart_Tyrellstown_D15 school planning area;
- a new 16 classroom primary school established in 2015 to serve the Pelletstown area; and
- a new 16 classroom primary school established in 2017 to serve the Scribblestown_Finglas West school planning area.
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 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. My Department will also continue to monitor areas where the accommodation of existing schools may need to be expanded in order to meet the needs of the local population.