26 September, 2013 - Minister Quinn announces patronage of new primary schools to open in 2014

Educate Together appointed patron of new schools in Sandymount/Ringsend and Knocknacarra, Galway

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., today announced the outcome of the patronage determination process for new primary schools due to open in 2014.

This is a further step in the process that began in June 2011 when the Minister announced that 20 new primary schools are to be established up to 2015 in a number of locations to cater for increasing pupil numbers.   

At that time the Minister also announced new criteria and arrangements for the recognition of the new schools. The arrangements included the establishment of a New Schools Establishment Group (NESG), an independent advisory group, to advise the Minister on the patronage of the new schools following its consideration of a report prepared by Department officials.

Announcing the patronage of the new schools, Minister Quinn said: “In making the decisions on the patronage of these schools, I was particularly conscious of taking into account the clear parental demand for plurality and diversity of patronage.

“The new schools getting the go-ahead will optimise parental choice and strengthen diversity of provision in the areas where they are being established”.

Educate Together has been appointed as the patron of a new 16-classroom school for the Sandymount/Ringsend area in Dublin and of an 8-classroom school for the Knocknacarra area in Galway. 

The Minister said that consideration is to be given to the establishment of a further 8-classroom school for the Knocknacarra area in 2015 under the patronage of Lifeways Ireland Limited. This will be subject to further prior confirmation that parental demand will support this model and size of school adequately at this time.

The Minister has agreed to defer the establishment of new primary schools for Swords in Dublin and for Middleton/Carrigtohill in Cork pending further reviews of these areas by the Department.

In assessing the applications received in all cases, all of the published criteria as set out were considered, including the extent of diversity in existing schools and the scale of diversity to be provided by the new school or schools. This was considered in conjunction with the level of parental demand for each of the patron applicants. 

The Minister expressed his thanks to the members of the NSEG for their valuable input to the process.

He said: “I initiated the revised system for the establishment of new schools and the appointment of the school patron so that it would be an objective and transparent process. The role of the NESG is critical to achieving these aims and I want to thank them for their work in this area.”

Department officials will be in contact with Educate Together shortly in regard to the logistics of establishing the new schools that are going-ahead.

ENDS

Note for editors:

The Report of the New Schools Advisory Group is available online at: http://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Information/Establishing-a-New-School/New-Primary-Schools/Report-of-the-New-Schools-Establishment-Group-on-the-Patronage-of-Primary-Schools-Scheduled-to-Commence-in-September-2014.pdf

Lifeways Ireland Ltd. is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status.  It is currently the patron body for two Steiner National Schools both of which have provisional recognition from the Department.