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School Enrolments

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (385)

Louise O'Reilly


385. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Education if she will work with a school (details supplied) to ensure it can expand its intake of students for 2022-2023 given that there is a significant number of children whose principle private residence is in the local catchment area and who are attending the local schools have not received a place in the school. [61232/21]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department is aware of increasing local pressures and demand for additional post-primary school places in a number of school planning areas, including the Malahide school planning area.

However, it is important to note that where enrolment pressures arise, it may not be as a result of lack of accommodation but may be driven by the following factors:

- Duplication of applications – pupils have applied for a place to a number of schools in the area

- School of choice – pupils can’t get a place in their preferred school while there are places in other schools in the town/area

- Some towns/areas have single sex schools and while places are available in the school they are not available to all pupils

- External draw – pupils coming from outside the local area

My Department is working to establish the true extent of any capacity issues through ongoing discussions with the relevant school authorities. Similar to the process adopted in advance of the current academic year, my Department is engaging with patron bodies, including patrons in the Malahide school planning area, to identify particular capacity requirements for the forthcoming year(s) which may necessitate further action to that already in train.

Malahide & Portmarnock ETSS opened in September 2018 in response to emerging demographic demand in the area. While the school is currently housed in interim accommodation on its permanent site, the Deputy will be aware that a major building project to construct a permanent school building for Malahide Portmarnock ETSS is included in the Department's school building programme.

The first phase of the new school building is due to be completed in 2022 and it is intended that it will be ready for occupation for the 2022/2023 academic year. The Department understands that the school will have a first year admission intake of 96 pupils for September 2022 and sufficient accommodation will be available for this intake.