Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (411)

Colm Burke


411. Deputy Colm Burke asked the Minister for Education the secondary school catchment area for children living in Kerry Pike, Cork, given the fact that the number of families living in the area has grown by a large amount in the past number of years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6552/21]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

In order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data in a way that takes account of the significant local and regional variations in demographic trends and enrolment projections, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas (SPAs).

Using school planning area boundaries within my Department’s Geographic Information System (GIS) allows data within those boundaries, including data for enrolments in schools, child benefit and other relevant data to be added to the mapping information, grouped and analysed.

The school planning areas are used in the demographic exercise as a basis for the assessment of areas of growth and to inform recommendations on the establishment of any new schools required in that school planning area. In urban areas, in particular, data relating to adjacent school planning areas is also used to inform our consideration of requirements. There are no current plans to revise school planning areas.

For school planning purposes, Kerry Pike is located over two school planning areas, Blarney and Ballincollig.

The new post primary school in Ballincollig was announced in 2018 following nationwide demographic analysis which identified an emerging demand at post primary level in the Ballincollig SPA. This school will be established in 2021 under the patronage of Le Chéile Schools Trust.

All new schools established since 2011 to meet demographic demand (including the aforementioned new school in Ballincollig) are required to prioritise the enrolment of children from within the designated school planning areas which the school is being established to serve. However, it is important to note that this does not preclude schools from enrolling pupils from outside of the designated school planning area, rather it reflects the need to accommodate in the first instance the demographic for which the school was established. Parents may apply directly to the school in relation to their child’s enrolment in the normal way.