As the Deputy will be aware, the Government announced plans in April 2018 for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022) including a new 1,000 pupil post-primary school to be established in September 2021 to serve the Booterstown, Blackrock & Dun Laoghaire school planning areas as a regional solution.
This announcement follows nationwide, demographic exercises carried out by my Department into the future need for primary and post-primary schools across the country.
A patronage process is run after it has been decided, based on demographic analysis, that a new school is required. This patronage process is open to all patron bodies and prospective patrons. Parental preferences for each patron, from parents of children who reside in the school planning areas concerned, together with the extent of diversity currently available in these areas, are key to decisions in relation to the outcome of this process.
The Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) has been developed by my Department to provide objective information to parents and guardians which will allow them to make an informed choice in expressing a preference for their preferred model of patronage for their child’s education.
The patronage process for new schools is overseen by an external independent advisory group, the New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG). Following their consideration of my Department’s assessment reports, the NSEG will submit a report with recommendations to me for consideration and final decision. The assessment reports and the NSEG recommendations for all such patronage processes are made available on my Department's website.
The patronage process for the new schools to be established in 2021, including the new post-primary school to serve the Booterstown_Blackrock & Dunlaoghaire school planning areas, will be run next year. Updates in relation to further patronage processes will be announced on the OPPS website and the Department’s website (www.education.ie).
My Department is currently identifying site options for the new school and a determination regarding the permanent location for the school will be made as soon as possible.