07 June, 2018 - Minister Bruton invites applications for patronage of four new post-primary schools to be established in 2019

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, T.D., has today (7th of June) invited school patron bodies/prospective school patron bodies to apply for the patronage of four new post-primary schools due to be established in September 2019.

Today’s invitation follows on from the Minister’s recent announcement for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four year period from 2019 to 2022.

We are fortunate in Ireland to have a growing population. However, this growth puts pressure on our public services. If we are to have the best education and training system in Europe, we must ensure that we adequately prepare for this future need by planning for the necessary modern school facilities now.

These planned new schools were decided following on from a nationwide, forward-planning exercise carried out by the Department into the future need for primary and post-primary schools across the country. The four year horizon will enable increased lead-in times for planning and delivery of the schools.

A patronage process will now be run, as is the process after it has been decided that the new school is required. Patron bodies and prospective patrons are now being invited to apply for patronage of the four schools due to open in 2019. The patronage process for the remaining schools will also be run significantly ahead of their due opening.

The four post-primary schools to be established in 2019 will serve the following school planning areas:

  • Donaghmede_Howth_D13 (Belmayne/Clongriffin area);
  • GalwayCity & Oranmore (Regional Solution);
  • Laytown & Drogheda (Regional Solution);
  • Wicklow.

A new Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) is currently being developed to provide objective information to all parents and guardians which will allow them to make an informed choice in expressing a preference for their preferred model of patronage for their child’s education.

Prospective patrons should complete an application form available on the Department’s website https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Information/Establishing-a-New-School/New-Post-Primary-Schools.html and submit to the Department by 4:30 p.m. on the 13th June 2018. This form will input into the new online system and will provide key information to parents and guardians in expressing a preference, which is one of the key determinants in decisions on patronage.

Inviting applications from interested patrons/prospective patrons today, Minister Bruton said:

“Parental preferences for each patron, from parents/guardians of children who reside in the school planning areas concerned, together with the extent of diversity currently available in these areas, are key to decisions in relation to the outcome of this process."

The patronage determination process for new schools is overseen by the independent New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG). This 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 schools will be established in line with the requirements and criteria originally announced in June 2011 for the patronage of new schools. These requirements and criteria are published at https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Information/Establishing-a-New-School/New-Post-Primary-Schools.html and will also be provided to prospective applicants. Applicants must confirm they will comply with each of the requirements and criteria in order for their application to be processed.

ENDS 

Notes for Editors

Details of new schools to be established in 2019:

 

  • Donaghmede_Howth_D13 (Belmayne/Clongriffin area);
  • GalwayCity & Oranmore (Regional Solution);
  • Laytown & Drogheda (Regional Solution); and
  • Wicklow.

 

The New Schools Establishment Group

The patronage process for new schools is overseen by the New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG). This 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 current members of the NSEG are:

 

  • Mr. Joe Hamill, Retired Secretary      General of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs;
  • Professor Gerry Mac Ruairc, Head,   School of Education, National University of Ireland Galway;
  • Professor Sarah Moore, Associate     Vice-President Academic, University of Limerick.

 

Next steps

The Department will shortly open the new Online Patronage Process System website, this will provide objective information to all parents which will allow them to make an informed choice in expressing a preference for their preferred model of patronage for their child’s education.

The Department will subsequently compile a patronage report for the consideration of the New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG) and the NSEG will submit a report with recommendations for consideration by the Minister.

Patronage commitments

The Applicant Patron(s) will have to be satisfy the following requirements, by confirming to:

  • Operate by the rules and regulations laid down in various Department of Education and Skills circulars and operating procedures and to follow the prescribed curriculum;
  • Operate the school within the resourcing and policy parameters established by the Department of Education and Skills;
  • Prioritise enrolment of children in the area(s) for which the Department has identified the need for a school;
  • Accept and open special education facilities;
  • Grow enrolment to the long-term projected enrolment identified by the Department;
  • Establish an Aonad where there is a demand for it (for a school where the primary medium of instruction is to be English);
  • Enter into the appropriate standard lease agreement with the Department of Education and Skills;
  • Share school buildings with other schools as may be determined by the Department should the building not be in full use;
  • Be part of a campus development with other primary or second-level schools as identified by the Department; and
  • Identify and source suitable interim accommodation, where deemed necessary by the Department, within the parameters set by the Department.