Written answers

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Department of Education and Skills

School Enrolments

Photo of Joe O'BrienJoe O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Green Party)
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173. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of pupils in primary schools in the Malahide, Portmarnock and Kinsealy areas; the number of pupils in post-primary schools in the same areas; her plans to expand the number of primary and post-primary places; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30651/20]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department does not publish or collate data for specific geographic areas. My Department publishes comprehensive enrolment data on the Department's website, www.education.ie/en/Publications/Statistics/Data-on-Individual-Schools/ with 2019-20 being the most recent year for which data is available. This data can be filtered by school roll number and geographically by Local Authority, County and school address.

In order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas and uses a Geographical Information System, using data from a range of sources, to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. With this information, my Department carries out nationwide demographic exercises to determine where additional school accommodation is needed at primary and post-primary level.

Major new residential developments in a school planning area have the potential to alter demand in that area. In that regard, as part of the demographic exercises, my Department engages with each of the local authorities to obtain the up-to-date data on significant new residential development in each area. This is necessary to ensure that schools infrastructure planning is keeping pace with demographic changes as there is a constantly evolving picture with planned new residential development.

Where data indicates that additional provision is required, the delivery of such additional provision is dependent on the particular circumstances of each case and may, depending on the circumstances, be provided through either one, or a combination of, the following:

- Utilising existing unused capacity within a school or schools,

- Extending the capacity of a school or schools,

- Provision of a new school or schools.

Under Project Ireland 2040, my Department continues to make progress to increase the infrastructural capacity in the schools sector, in order to meet demographic and other demands. My Department will also continue to monitor areas where the accommodation of existing schools may need to be expanded in order to meet the needs of the local population.

A new school, Malahide/Portmarnock Educate Together Secondary School was established in September 2019 and is currently based in interim accommodation on the site where the school's permanent accommodation will be constructed. The building project for the permanent school building is currently at tender stage.

The current status of all building projects being delivered may be viewed on my Department's website, www.education.ie and this information is updated regularly.

It is open to schools to apply for accommodation under my Department's ' Additional School Accommodation Scheme' if individual schools do not have sufficient capacity to cater for school enrolments.

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