8,200 additional post-primary places to be provided
The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D., today announced the patronage of the nine new post-primary schools to be established in 2017 and 2018. In all cases the Minister accepted the recommendations of the New Schools Establishment Group. These schools were announced in November 2015 to serve a number of locations nationwide under increased demographic pressures. Minister Bruton said “The basic aim of this Government is to use our economic success to create a fair and compassionate society. In few areas is there as much capacity to deliver on this as in education. As part of this, we are determined to provide more choice for parents. As a country we are experiencing a significant, ongoing, increase in our school-going population. The establishment of these new schools forms an essential part of plans to ensure that sufficient new school places are in place to cater for the growing cohort of pupils at post-primary level over the coming years. Additional places will also continue to be provided by extending existing provision, as included in the Six Year Programme of Capital Investment in Schools 2016-2021”.
The Minister observed that, “Parental preference has become a key determinant in deciding the patronage of new schools and I’m pleased to say that the views of parents as expressed through the process are strongly reflected in the decisions I have made on the patronage of these nine new schools”.
Patronage of the new schools in Limerick City & Environs (East); Malahide & Portmarnock; Firhouse Dublin 24; and Dublin South City Centre is being awarded to Educate Together. Education and Training Boards have been awarded patronage of the new schools for Limerick City & Environs (South-West) (Limerick and Clare ETB), Swords (Dublin and Dún Laoghaire ETB) and Portlaoise (Laois and Offaly ETB, with An Foras Pátrúnactha as Trustee Partner). The Edmund Rice Schools Trust has been appointed patron of the new school to serve Carpenterstown and Castleknock. The remaining school in Lucan, Co. Dublin will involve a partnership approach with Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board and a new entity, Scoil Sinead Ltd.
These new schools will provide significant additional pupil places in the areas they will serve and between them will have capacity to cater for up to 8,200 additional post-primary pupils when fully developed.
The Minister also stated that in making his decisions he was particularly conscious of the clear parental demand for diversity of provision in many of the areas where the new schools are being established. All applications were assessed on the basis of published criteria, including the extent of diversity in existing schools and the scale of diversity to be provided by the new school or schools.
Minister Bruton said “The best and quickest way of providing diversity and choice for parents is by providing additional multi-denominational schools for parents. I have committed to trebling the rate of delivery of these schools to reach 400 multi-denominational and non-denominational schools by 2030. I am very pleased with the range of patrons involved in these new schools being announced today and that eight of the nine schools will have a multi-denominational ethos. I am particularly pleased that the outcome of this process has resulted in the inclusion of a new player at post-primary level, further increasing diversity of provision in our post-primary school system. I am confident that these new schools will give parents and students real choice.”
Following consideration of feedback from patrons on previous patronage processes, the process has evolved to incorporate the medium of instruction of a proposed new school as part of the assessment process. This makes parental preference for Irish-medium instruction an integral part of the patronage assessment and recommendation process. It is open to all prospective patron applicants to propose provision of Irish-medium education in their application for a new school. Parental preferences for each patron, together with the extent of Irish provision, if any, currently available in the area, are key in relation to the outcome of this process. In this regard, prospective patrons were requested to submit completed parental preferences indicating the language through which parents would prefer their children to be educated.
The assessment process analyses existing Irish-medium provision in the area and also takes into account existing Irish-medium provision in the adjacent school planning areas. Consideration is given to demonstrated demand and long-term sustainability, including provision of a sufficient range of subjects.
Minister Bruton stated “I am pleased that parents had an opportunity to express their preference as to whether they wish their child to be educated through the medium of English or Irish. I am very pleased that as a result of the parental preferences and assessment of existing Irish-medium provision in each area, the new post-primary school to serve the Portlaoise area will have an Aonad Lán-Gaeilge and that consideration is being given to the establishment of another Aonad Lán-Gaeilge in Carpenterstown/Castleknock.”.
The Minister expressed his gratitude to the members of the New Schools Establishment Group for their valuable input to the process, ensuring an objective and transparent process. The Department will be contacting each of the patron bodies in relation to the logistics of the establishment of these new schools.
Notes for Editors
The Patrons of the nine new post-primary schools are:
|County||Area to be Served||Patron|
|Dublin||Carpenterstown & Castleknock, D 15||Edmund Rice Schools Trust|
|Dublin||Lucan, Co. Dublin||Dublin and Dún Laoghaire ETB with Scoil Sinead as Trustee Partner|
|Dublin||Malahide & Portmarnock, Co. Dublin||Educate Together|
|Dublin||Swords, Co. Dublin||Dublin and Dún Laoghaire ETB|
|Laois||Portlaoise, Co. Laois||Laois and Offaly ETB with An Foras Pátrúnachta as Trustee Partner|
|Limerick||Limerick City & Environs (South-West)||Limerick and Clare ETB|
|Limerick||Limerick City & Environs (East)||Educate Together|
|Dublin||Dublin South City Centre||Educate Together|
|Dublin||Firhouse, Dublin 24||Educate Together|
All of the schools are being established to meet an identified demographic need.
Two distinct areas of growth within the Limerick City school planning area were identified - Limerick City and Environs (South-West) and Limerick City and Environs (East). Given this, it was decided to open two schools, each with an initial capacity of 600 pupils to meet the anticipated demand in the area. In this regard, a new 600 pupil post-primary school for Limerick City and Environs (South-West) is due to open in September 2017 and a new 600 pupil school for Limerick City and Environs (East) is due to open in 2018.
Details on the arrangements which apply to the patronage of these new schools are available on the Department’s website.See link below.
The detailed Assessment Reports for each of the areas concerned are also published on the Department’s website.
New Schools Establishment Group
The patronage process for new schools is overseen by the New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG). This independent advisory group was set up in 2011 to advise the Minister on the patronage of new schools following its consideration of a report prepared by the Department on the applications received. The group is chaired by Dr. Seamus McGuinness (retired senior lecturer in the Education Department at Trinity College Dublin) and also includes Ms. Sylda Langford (retired Director of the Office of the Minister for Children) and Prof. Seán Ó Riain (Sociology Department, NUI Maynooth).
Minister Bruton accepted the recommendations of the Group in all cases.
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