Tuesday, 5 March 2019
Department of Education and Skills
183. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans in regard to opening an Educate Together primary school in Dungarvan, County Waterford; if the location is part of his commitment in the reconfiguration process; the timescale envisaged; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10254/19]
As the Deputy will be aware, my Department is implementing new plans aimed at accelerating the provision of multi-denominational and non-denominational schools across the country, in line with the choices of parents, families and school communities and the Programme for Government commitment to reach 400 such schools by 2030.
The previous model of patronage divestment yielded only a very limited number of schools for transfer to multi-denominational patrons (11 since 2013, with a twelfth school, Westport ETNS, due to be established under this process for September 2019). I believe that the new Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity process has the potential to significantly increase patron diversity in our school system.
While the Schools Reconfiguration process is being advanced, my Department is continuing to work with the main stakeholders to progress delivery of diversity in areas already identified, including Dungarvan.
To date, it has not been possible to secure a school property to facilitate a new school being established in Dungarvan. However, my Department will continue its efforts in relation to identifying a suitable solution under the patronage divesting process, which would facilitate a new Educate Together school being established to serve the Dungarvan area.