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School Enrolments

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Questions (292)

Richard Bruton


292. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Education if the CSO has provided her Department with a projection of population for the Drumcondra school catchment area over the next five years. [53764/21]

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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. My Department uses a Geographical Information System (GIS) to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. The GIS uses data from a range of sources, including the Central Statistics Office and also, Ordnance Survey Ireland, the Department of Social Protection (Child Benefit information) and my Department's own databases (school enrolment data). Major new residential developments in a school planning area can also have the potential to alter demand in that area. In that regard, as part of the demographic exercises, my Department engages with each local authority to obtain the up-to-date data on significant new residential development in each area.

With this information, my Department carries out nationwide demographic exercises annually, at primary and post primary level to determine where additional school accommodation is needed. 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.

My Department is satisfied that current demand in the Drumcondra_Marino_Dublin 1 school planning area can be accommodated at present by the existing and growing schools in this area. The pace of delivery of additional residential development in this school planning area, along with updated enrolment data and demographic data will be kept under review and this will inform the timing of school requirements.