The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. has today invited school patron bodies/prospective school patron bodies to apply for the patronage of new primary schools to be established in September 2020.
Today’s invitation follows on from the announcement on 13th April 2018 of 42 new schools over the four-year period from 2019 to 2022. This announcement included four primary schools to be established in 2020.
A patronage process is run after it has been decided that a new school is required. A patronage process will be undertaken in respect of the four new primary schools for 2020 which will serve the following school planning areas:
School Planning Area
Size of School
Newcastle_Rathcoole/Saggart – Citywest
*The size of the schools is based on current identified need but will be responsive to patronage or demographic demand.
Following the recently announced measures to increase access to Irish-medium education as part of the patronage process, two of the new schools, in Donabate and Saggart/Citywest, have been designated as Irish-medium primary schools.
Prospective patrons should complete an application form, which is available on the Department’s website:
and submit this to the Department by 11am on Friday 22nd November 2019.
Parental views are key to decisions on patronage. An Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) has been developed to provide objective information to all parents and guardians. Information provided by applicant patrons will be made available on the OPPS for parents and guardians interested in expressing a preference for the patronage of each school.
This will allow them to make an informed choice in expressing a preference for their preferred model of patronage for their child’s education, including their preference for their child to be educated through the medium of Irish or English, where the school has not been designated as a gaelscoil.
Inviting applications from interested patrons/prospective patrons today, Minister McHugh said: “I am delighted to see progress on the establishment of the four new schools and urge any prospective patron to get involved in the process as soon as possible.
“The voice of the parents of children who will be using these schools in the coming years will be central to the decisions on which patron runs which schools, as will the extent of diversity currently available in each area.
“I would also urge parents to look out for information on the online survey which will open in the coming weeks, once the potential patrons for each area are confirmed.”
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. Applicant patrons must confirm that they will comply with each of the requirements and criteria in order for their application to be processed.
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.
In parallel, the Department is completing an updated demographic analysis process for the period 2020 to 2023. In the context of further strengthening this process, the Department will have additional engagement with patron bodies to incorporate their local knowledge on school place requirements. This additional engagement will commence in the coming weeks, with the initial and immediate focus on the need, if any, to establish further new primary schools in 2020. It is expected that this initial exercise will be concluded in December, to align with the timeline of the announced patronage process.
Notes for Editors
Details of four new primary schools to be established in 2020 in respect of which a patronage process will be undertaken
School Planning Area(s) to be served
Year of Opening
To be determined after the OPPS
To be determined after the OPPS
* The new school will be located in the Saggart/Citywest area. It is adjacent to the Tallaght School Planning Area in which there is no gaelscoil.
** Two new primary schools are due to open in Sallynoggin_Killiney_DLR/Cherrywood – one in 2020 and a second in 2022. One will be designated as a gaelscoil. The order will be decided following the OPPS process.
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 members of the NSEG are:
- Mr. Joe Hamill (Chairperson), 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, Professor of Teaching and Learning, University of Limerick.
Following confirmation of applicant patrons, the Department will open the Online Patronage Process System website for the 2020 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.