26 November, 2020 – Minister Foley invites parents to express preference for patronage of three primary schools to be established in 2021

The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has invited parents to express their preference in relation to the patronage of three primary schools to be established in 2021.

Parents are invited to express their patronage preferences using the Department’s Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) website. This system has been developed to provide objective information to parents and guardians in the relevant school planning areas 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 Online Patronage Process System can be accessed at: https://patronage.education.gov.ie/. The survey will be live until 10am on 21 December 2020.

Minister Foley said: “It is encouraging that significant numbers of parents engaged with the recent post-primary patronage process despite the fact that it had to be conducted within the confines of current public health guidelines. I hope that as many parents as possible also engage with the primary process about to get underway for these three schools. It is important that parents are given the option to express their preference on the choice of patron.”

“I am also pleased that two of the three schools have been designated as gaescoileanna to serve children in school planning areas in which there is currently no Irish-medium primary provision. In the third area, the language of the school will be determined as part of the patronage process.”

The three primary schools to be established in 2021 will serve the following school planning areas:

  • Donaghmede_Howth_D13           - designated gaelscoil
  • Dublin2_Dublin4                            - designated gaelscoil
  • Sallynoggin_Killiney_DLR/North  - language (English or Irish) to be determined as part of the patronage process

Today’s invitation follows on from the announcement since 2018 of the establishment of 47 new schools to cater for demographic growth over the four-year period from 2019 to 2022.

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.

Parents whose children will be commencing primary school from 2021 to 2025 and who are living in the relevant school planning areas will be eligible to make their preferences known in the online survey.

Inviting interested parents/guardians to make their preference known, Minister Foley said:

“This is a great opportunity for parents to make your views known and help to shape the education of the future. I encourage all parents of eligible children in the relevant school planning areas to take a look at the patronage options and engage with the survey.

“Your preferences, together with the extent of diversity currently available in these areas, will be key to decisions in relation to the outcome of this process."

The patronage 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.

ENDS 

Notes for Editors

What new schools are being established in 2021?

  • Donaghmede_Howth_D13
  • Dublin2_Dublin4
  • Sallynoggin_Killiney_DLR/North 

Who are the Applicant Patrons for each school?

Donaghmede_Howth_D13 - Gaelscoil
  • An Foras Pátrúnachta
  • Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board
Dublin2_Dublin4 - Gaelscoil
  • An Foras Pátrúnachta
  • City of Dublin Education and Training Board 
Sallynoggin_Killiney_DLR/North
  • An Foras Pátrúnachta
  • Educate Together
  • Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board
Who is entitled to express a preference?

The Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) is open to parents or guardians of children who are due to enrol in primary school between 2021 and 2025 and who live in one of the school planning areas. Parents and guardians will need their child’s Eircode and PPSN in order to complete the online survey.

What is the New Schools Establishment Group?

The patronage process for new schools is overseen by the 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, Professor of Teaching and Learning, University of Limerick.
What Happens Next?

The OPPS website will provide objective information to 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, including their preference for their child to be educated through the medium of Irish or English in the case of the new school for the Sallynoggin_Killiney_DLR/North school planning area. The survey will be open until 10am on 21 December 2020. 

When the survey closes, the Department will compile a report for the consideration of the NSEG and the NSEG will submit a report with recommendations for consideration by the Minister.