Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Ceisteanna (399)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

399. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to ensure children and students in the Dublin 8 and 12 areas have access to a secondary Educate Together facility; the rationale for excluding students from these areas from the facility at Harold’s Cross; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20118/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

As the Deputy will be aware, in 2018 a new 1,000 pupil co-educational, multi-denominational school under the patronage of Educate Together was established to serve the Dublin 8 school planning area, along with the Dublin 2-Dublin 4 and Dublin 6-Clonskeagh school planning areas as a regional solution.

In April 2018, the Government announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022), including new post-primary schools for areas adjacent to Dublin 8 and Dublin 12 as follows:

- a new 1,000 pupil post-primary school to be established in 2020 as a regional solution to serve the Dublin 6-Clonskeagh and Dublin 6W school planning areas; and

- a new 600 pupil post-primary school to be established in 2021 to serve the Dublin 2-Dublin 4 school planning area.

These new schools will reduce pressure on schools in the adjacent school planning areas, including the Dublin 8 and 12 areas. I understand that the existing schools in the Dublin 8 and Dublin 12 school planning areas have capacity to accommodate demand in the area at present.

The requirement for new schools will be kept under on-going review and in particular will have regard for the increased roll-out of housing provision as outlined in Project Ireland 2040.

All new schools established since 2011 to meet demographic demand are required, in the first instance, to prioritise pupil applications from within the designated school planning area(s) which the school was established to serve. This does not preclude schools from enrolling pupils from outside of the designated school planning area where they have sufficient places.

The Deputy may wish to note that patronage model of the new post-primary school to serve the Dublin 6-Clonskeagh and Dublin 6W school planning areas has not yet been decided. A patronage process for the new school will be undertaken later this year and will be open to all patron bodies.

Separately, I understand that City of Dublin ETB and Educate Together have started discussions in relation to possible partnerships with a view to Educate Together involvement at second level in existing schools in both the Dublin 12 and Dublin 7 areas. I am supportive of this initiative which has the potential to add to and enhance the availability of additional choice in the area and my Department is engaging with the bodies concerned in this regard. This represents an opportunity to increase diversity of provision in existing schools in areas where a new school is not required.