19 August, 2019 - Minister invites school patron bodies to apply for patronage of six new post-primary schools to be established in 2020

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. has today (19th August) invited applications for the patronage of six new post-primary schools to be established in September 2020.

Today’s invitation follows on from the announcement in April 2018 that the Government was making a major investment in education with the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years from 2019 to 2022.

These six new schools are being set up to meet the demand from growing populations in parts of Greater Dublin, Meath/Kildare and Wicklow.

Minister McHugh said: “I am pleased to invite patrons and prospective patrons to apply to become a patron for any or all of these six new schools.

“Patronage for a new school is an important decision for a community. These invitations to patrons are only the first step. Over the coming months an online patronage survey will run in each area where parents and guardians of eligible children living in the areas will be asked to express their preferences on patronage of these new schools. These patronage preferences, together with the extent of diversity currently in each area, will be key to decisions on successful patrons.

“I would also appeal to prospective patrons as the information they provide now and over the coming months will help inform parents. Clear, concise and comprehensive information will help parents to make an informed decision.”

The patronage process is taking place for the six new post-primary schools in the following areas:

  • Dublin 15: Blanchardstown_West_D15 & BlanchardstownVillage_D15 school planning areas
  • Goatstown: Goatstown_Stillorgan_Dun Laoghaire Rathdown school planning area
  • Enfield: Kilcock school planning area
  • Citywest/Saggart: Tallaght & Newcastle/Rathcoole school planning areas
  • Harold’s Cross: Dublin 6_Clonskeagh & Dublin6W school planning areas
  • Wicklow: Kilcoole & Greystones school planning areas

The parental preference survey in relation to the new schools will be held as part of the Online Patronage Process System (OPPS).

The OPPS provides for objective information to be shared with parents and guardians to support them in making an informed choice to express their preferred model of patronage for their child’s education. This also includes an option for parents to express a preference for Irish or English medium education.

Parents whose children will be commencing first year in secondary school from 2020-2024 and who are living in the relevant school planning areas will be eligible to make their preferences known in the online survey.

Prospective patrons should complete an application form, which is available on the Department’s website at the following link:  https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Information/Establishing-a-New-School/New-Post-Primary-Schools.html

The deadline for the form to be submitted to the Department is 5pm on the 28th August 2019.

The details submitted will be used to provide information to parents and guardians at the stage at which parental preference is sought.

The patronage process for new schools is overseen by the New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG).

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 on the Department’s website 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.


Notes for Editors:

Details of 6 new post-primary schools to be established in 2020 in respect of which a patronage process will be undertaken:


Area/School Planning Area(s) to be served

School Size (Pupils)*

Year of Opening


Blanchardstown_West_D15   & BlanchardstownVge_D15

(Regional solution)








Enfield (Kilcock school   planning area)




Citywest/Saggart   (Tallaght & Newcastle_Rathcoole school planning areas) (Regional   Solution)




Dublin6_Clonskeagh &   Dublin_6W

(Regional Solution)




Kilcoole & Greystones

(Regional Solution)



*based on current projected need but will be responsive to patronage or demographic demand

 A number of locations have already been secured for some of the six new schools, all of which are subject to planning permission:

  • Dublin 6, Clonskeagh & Dublin6W – Former Harold’s Cross Greyhound Stadium
  • Goatstown, Stillorgan, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown - Former Irish Glass Bottle recreation site, Goatstown
  • Tallaght & Newcastle/Rathcoole – ETB site at Fortunestown Lane

Kilcoole & Greystones

The new post-primary school to serve the Kilcoole & Greystones school planning area as a regional solution was initially announced to be established in 2021. Due to increased projected enrolments and capacity constraints in the area, the school will now open in September 2020.

Regional Solutions

A decision to establish a new school can be taken where projected growth in a single school planning area may not warrant provision of a new school but where combined demographic increases in the region indicates sufficient demand for a viable school. These schools, identified as being Regional Solutions, are planned to serve more than one school planning area.

Next steps 

The Department will shortly open the online patronage process system (OPPS) website for the 2020 post-primary patronage process.  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.

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 and the Gaeltacht;
  • Professor Gerry Mac Ruairc, Head of the School of Education, National University of Ireland Galway;
  • Professor Sarah Moore, Professor of Teaching and Learning, University of Limerick.