Tuesday, 30 March 2004
Department of Education and Science
Question 178: To ask the Minister for Education and Science his views on the practice that has emerged in Swords, County Dublin, whereby parents hoping to enrol their daughters in a local school (details supplied) are forced to camp out overnight prior to the school opening applications for enrolment the following day; if this reflects the shortage of school places available in the area; his plans to address this shortage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9794/04]
In the matter of providing school places, my Department's main responsibility is to ensure that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all pupils seeking places. This may result in pupils not obtaining a place in the school of their first choice.
Since Swords is an area of population growth there may be a demand in future years for additional provision in the area. Currently, however, my Department is satisfied that collectively the four existing post primary schools have adequate provision to cater for demand.
In regard to the specific school to which the Deputy refers, I cannot comment on the school's enrolment procedure since this is a matter for the school's board of management. An application for additional accommodation has been received from the school's management authority. The application is under consideration in the school planning section of my Department and will be examined in the context of the overall educational requirements of the Swords area.