The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., today announced the patrons for nine new post-primary schools which will open in 2015 and 2016.
These new schools will provide additional places for up to 7,300 students in areas of Cork, Cavan, Dublin and North Wicklow which have seen their populations expand in recent years.
The new schools include five which will cater for up to 1,000 students each.
Four of the new schools will be under the patronage of Educate Together, two will be run by the local Education and Training Board (ETB), one by the Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST), one jointly by the local ETB and Educate Together and the final school will be managed by the local ETB with involvement of the Catholic Bishop of Cloyne (see table below).
Minister Quinn said, “The fact that the new patrons include those of multi-denominational and those of a Catholic ethos clearly demonstrates that the Department and I are committed to providing diversity of ethos in our schools and respecting the demands of parents.”
“I am very pleased to see that Educate Together will be sole patron in four schools and joint patron in a fifth school, particularly as ET was formally recognised as a second level patron body by me just two years ago.”
“I am confident that these new schools, alongside the existing schools in each area, will mean that parents and students have real choice when it comes to deciding which school most reflects their own ethos.”
Today’s announcement is the culmination of the process which began in June 2011 when the Minister announced that 20 new post-primary schools were to be established up to 2017 to cater for increasing student numbers.
Minister Quinn said, “We are experiencing significant increases in our school-going population. The establishment of these new schools is an essential part of our actions to ensure that the school infrastructure is in place in time to ensure every single student has a quality place at second level over the coming years.”
At that time the Minister also announced new criteria and arrangements for the recognition of the new schools. The arrangements included the establishment of an independent advisory group, the New Schools Establishment Group, to advise the Minister on the patronage of the new schools following its consideration of a report prepared by Department officials.
The New Schools Establishment Group reported to the Minister earlier this month. Minister Quinn has accepted the group’s recommendations in full.
Prospective patrons were asked to provide evidence of parental demand when making applications for patronage of the new schools. In addition, the criteria used in deciding on patronage included how the proposed schools under the respective patrons would provide for extending or strengthening diversity of school ethos in each area, having regard to the views of parents.
The Minister expressed his thanks to the members of the New Schools Establishment Group for their valuable input to the process. Minister Quinn 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 New Schools Establishment Group is critical to achieving these aims and I want to thank them for their work in this area.”
Department officials will shortly contact each of the patron bodies in regard to the logistics of the establishment of these new schools.
|County||Area||Recommended Patron Body||No. of students|
|Cavan||Kingscourt||Cavan and Monaghan ETB||400|
|Cork||Cork South Suburbs/Carrigaline|
Edmund Rice Schools Trust
|Cork||Midleton/Carrigtohill|| Cork ETB (involving the Catholic Bishop of Cloyne)||1,000|
|Dublin||Kingswood, Tallaght||Dublin and Dun Laoghaire ETB||1,000|
|Kildare||Celbridge||Jointly Educate Together and Kildare and Wicklow ETB (subject to confirmation of sufficient parental support)||Up to 1,000|
|Wicklow||North Wicklow||Educate Together||1,000|