Thursday, 14 November 2019

Ceisteanna (75)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

75. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills the safe checks in place to authenticate the votes cast in the recent secondary school patronage processes to ensure that the PPS numbers and Eircode of those that voted in the process correlate with eligible voters, that is, children in second to sixth year classes, which correlate with their home address in the eligible school planning area. [46915/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

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.

My Department has put in place a verification process that incorporates a number of checks in relation to parental preferences received, including checking information provided as part of the survey against information held on the Department's enrolment databases for the purpose of planning for schools.

Included in the measures are the identification and removal of duplicate preferences, preferences with invalid PPSNs, preferences from addresses with Eircodes outside the relevant school planning area(s) and preferences received in respect of children in class groups outside of the eligible cohort for the relevant process.