Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Ceisteanna (110, 111, 112)

Noel Rock

Ceist:

110. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide a map of the 314 school planning areas. [40901/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Noel Rock

Ceist:

111. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a map of the school planning areas was last revised. [40902/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Noel Rock

Ceist:

112. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide the previous school planning maps for Dublin. [40903/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 110 to 112, inclusive, together.

The information requested by the Deputy around the individual maps of the 314 school planning areas is not readily available and would represent a significant administrative burden to compile. However, if the Deputy wishes to nominate a number of school planning areas, I would be happy to provide individual maps of these areas directly to the Deputy.

As the Deputy will be aware, 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, of which some 40 are in Dublin.

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 GIS records the number of primary and post-primary schools within each planning area, the combined enrolments for all of the schools within each area, including total enrolment and enrolment in each class group, together with child benefit data for the 0-4 age group relevant to the area.

In most areas, school planning areas were based on traditional school catchment areas where all primary schools were assigned to a post-primary feeder area (typically a population centre or town), containing one or more post-primary schools. The school planning areas were developed for use with the GIS in 2008 and with the introduction of Small Areas in Census 2011, these areas were amended to align with Census Small Areas. The current school planning areas take account not only of local groupings of schools, but also of natural boundaries, Census Small Areas and other local conditions.

These 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.