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School Catchment Areas

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 24 February 2021

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Ceisteanna (409)

David Cullinane

Ceist:

409. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Education the school planning areas in Waterford city and county; the student population in each planning area; if there are plans for additional primary or secondary schools in each of the planning areas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9498/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

As the Deputy may be aware, for school planning purposes my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas. The school planning areas in Waterford City and County are as follows:

- Youghal

- Ring

- Lismore

- Fermoy

- Clonmel

- Dungarvan

- Carrick-on-Suir

- Kilmacthomas

- Tramore

- Waterford

For clarity, this list reflects school planning areas which are fully or partly within the Waterford City and County Council administrative area.

Data on schools across the country is available on my Department’s website, www.education.ie under the “Find a School” function. Schools can be searched for using a number of different criteria including, inter alia, School Level, Geographical Area and Ethos and key information on the relevant schools, including enrolments from the 2019/20 academic year, is displayed in the results. A map of the relevant schools is provided as part of the "Find a School" functionality.

Full lists of all schools at primary or post primary level can also be downloaded from the website and these provide further data on individual schools. These lists can be filtered by local authority and/or county which may be helpful.

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, utilising data from a range of sources including information on planned and current residential development, to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise.

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 local authority to obtain the up-to-date data on significant new residential development in each area. My Department then makes an assessment of the existing capacity within the particular area and its ability to meet increased demand.

Where data indicates that additional provision is required at primary or post primary level, the delivery of such additional provision is dependent on the particular circumstances of each case and may 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.

Previous demographic exercises have not identified a requirement for a new school in Waterford City or County, however, the requirement for additional school places is kept under on-going review and work on an updated exercise to assess needs for the coming years is at an advanced stage.

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