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School Accommodation

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 23 November 2021

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Ceisteanna (62)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

62. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Education if her attention has been drawn to a shortage of school places in Malahide and Portmarnock, County Dublin; and if she has plans to address this issue. [57043/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department is aware of increasing pressures and demand for additional post-primary school places in a number of school planning areas including school planning areas in Malahide and Portmarnock, County Dublin.

Where enrolment pressures arise, it may not be as a result of lack of accommodation but may be driven by the following factors:

- Duplication of applications – pupils have applied for a place to a number of schools in the area

- School of choice – pupils can’t get a place in their preferred school while there are places in other schools in the town/area

- Some towns/areas have single sex schools and while places are available in the school they are not available to all pupils

- External draw – pupils coming from outside the local area

My Department is working to establish the true extent of any capacity issues through ongoing discussions with the relevant school authorities. In that context, similar to the process adopted in advance of the current academic year, my Department is engaging with patron bodies, including patrons of schools in Malahide and Portmarnock school planning areas, to identify particular capacity requirements for the forthcoming years which may necessitate further action to that already in train including, where required, the provision of modular accommodation solutions.

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. It is expected that the enrolment pressures in these, and other areas will reduce in the short-term as such planned additional capacity comes on stream and as demographic demand moves past its peak.

The Capital Programme details the school projects that are being progressed under Project Ireland 2040. The current status of large-scale projects being delivered under Project Ireland 2040, including projects in the school planning areas in question, may be viewed on my Department's website at, www.gov.ie and this information is updated regularly. In addition, a list of large-scale projects completed from 2010 to date may also be viewed on the website.

The Capital Programme also provides for devolved funding for additional classrooms, including accommodation for pupils with special educational needs, if required, for schools where an additional enrolment need has been identified or where an additional teacher has been appointed. Details of schools listed on this programme (the Additional Accommodation Scheme) can be found on my Department's website at www.gov.ie and this information is also updated regularly.

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