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School Enrolments

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 21 July 2020

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Ceisteanna (387)

Johnny Mythen

Ceist:

387. Deputy Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of secondary school places provided in Gorey, County Wexford; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16741/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

In order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas and uses a Geographical Information System, using data from a range of sources, to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. With this information, my Department carries out nationwide demographic exercises to determine where additional school accommodation is needed at primary and post-primary level.

Major new residential developments in a school planning area have the potential to alter demand in that area. In that regard, as part of the demographic exercises, my Department engages with each of the local authorities to obtain the up-to-date data on significant new residential development in each area. This is necessary to ensure that schools infrastructure planning is keeping pace with demographic changes as there is a constantly evolving picture with planned new residential development.

Where data indicates that additional provision is required, the delivery of such additional provision is dependent on the particular circumstances of each case and may, depending on the circumstances, be provided through either one, or a combination of, the following:

- Utilising existing unused capacity within a school or schools,

- Extending the capacity of a school or schools,

- Provision of a new school or schools.

In April 2018 the Government announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the four years 2019 to 2022. This announcement followed nationwide demographic exercises carried out by my Department into the future need for primary and post-primary schools across the country.

In addition to the new schools announced, there will be a need for further school accommodation in other areas through either planned capacity increases in existing schools or additional accommodation or extensions to existing schools.

While the 2018 announcement did not include a new post-primary school for the Gorey school planning area, the requirement for new schools or school places is under ongoing review and in particular will have regard for the increased rollout of housing provision as outlined in Project Ireland 2040.

Under Project Ireland 2040, my Department continues to make progress to increase the infrastructural capacity in the schools sector, in order to meet demographic and other demands.

My Department will also continue to monitor areas where the accommodation of existing schools may need to be expanded in order to meet the needs of the local population.

The second level School Planning Area for Gorey, Co. Wexford, is catered for by two schools, Gorey Community School and Creagh College.

My Department approved capital funding for Gorey Community School to provide additional classroom and specialist accommodation last April. This accommodation, when constructed, will cater for approximately 1,550 pupils. The project has been devolved to the school authorities for delivery. A new school building catering for 1,000 pupils was constructed for Creagh College in 2014.

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