Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Education and Skills
375. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills her plans to alleviate the lack of secondary school places in the Malahide and Portmarnock areas of County Dublin; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44209/20]
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, utilising data from a range of sources including information on planned and current residential development, to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. Malahide is situated in the Malahide Nevinstown school planning area and Portmarnock is situated in the Portmarnock school planning area.
As the Deputy may be aware, a new 1,000 pupil post-primary school (Malahide Portmarnock Educate Together Secondary School) established in 2018 as a regional solution for the Malahide_Nevinstown and Portmarnock school planning areas. The building project for the school is being delivered under my Department's Design & Build programme and the project is currently at an advanced stage of Architectural Planning. The school is currently in interim accommodation on its permanent site pending delivery of its new building.
The requirement for additional school places is kept under on-going review and work on an updated exercise to assess needs for the coming years, including those which may arise in the Malahide_Nevinstown and Portmarnock school planning areas, is at an advanced stage.
Furthermore, similar to the process adopted in advance of the current academic year, my Department is engaging with patron bodies, including those in the Malahide_Nevinstown and Portmarnock school planning areas, to identify particular capacity requirements for the forthcoming year(s) which may necessitate action.
In addition to these ongoing exercises, my Department continues to liaise with Fingal County Council in respect of potential longer-term requirements for educational provision in all areas of North Dublin. My Department engages further on such matters with the Council through the review of the County Development Plan, preparation of Local Area Plans and other relevant statutory planning processes.