Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Education and Skills

School Enrolments

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)
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404. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if a recent study has been conducted on demand and availability of secondary school places in an area (details supplied); if so, the projections from the research; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44520/20]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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As the Deputy may be aware, 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. Wexford Town is situated in the Wexford school planning area.

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 local authority to obtain the up-to-date data on significant new residential development in each area. My Department then makes an assessment of the existing capacity within the particular area and its ability to meet increased demand.

Where data indicates that additional provision is required at primary or post primary level, the delivery of such additional provision is dependent on the particular circumstances of each case and may 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.

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 Wexford school planning area, is at an advanced stage.

Separately, Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB) and Educate Together have recently formalised an agreement which will see the two bodies working in partnership in relation to the future development and running of Selskar College, a post-primary school in Wexford Town. The architectural planning process to construct a new 1,000 pupil school has commenced and the project has been devolved to WWETB for delivery.

Furthermore, similar to the process adopted in advance of the current academic year, my Department is engaging with patron bodies, including those in County Wexford, 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 Wexford County Council in respect of potential longer-term requirements for educational provision in all areas of Wexford. 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.

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)
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405. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if there has been a recent study conducted on demand and availability of secondary school places in an area (details supplied); if so, the projections from the research; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44523/20]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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As the Deputy may be aware, 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. Gorey is situated in the Gorey school planning area.

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 local authority to obtain the up-to-date data on significant new residential development in each area. My Department then makes an assessment of the existing capacity within the particular area and its ability to meet increased demand.

Where data indicates that additional provision is required at primary or post primary level, the delivery of such additional provision is dependent on the particular circumstances of each case and may 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.

As the Deputy will be aware, a new 500 pupil post-primary school has been announced for Gorey to be established in 2021. The patronage process in this regard is currently at an advanced stage and my Department is working to put an appropriate accommodation solution in place for the start of the 2021/22 academic year.

Furthermore, similar to the process adopted in advance of the current academic year, my Department is engaging with patron bodies, including those in County Wexford, to identify particular capacity requirements for the forthcoming year(s) which may necessitate action.

In addition to this ongoing work, my Department continues to liaise with Wexford County Council in respect of potential longer-term requirements for educational provision in all areas of Wexford. 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.

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

406. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if there has been a recent study conducted on demand and availability of secondary school places in an area (details supplied); if so, the projections from the research; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44525/20]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

As the Deputy may be aware, 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. New Ross is situated in the New Ross school planning area.

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 local authority to obtain the up-to-date data on significant new residential development in each area. My Department then makes an assessment of the existing capacity within the particular area and its ability to meet increased demand.

Where data indicates that additional provision is required at primary or post primary level, the delivery of such additional provision is dependent on the particular circumstances of each case and may 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.

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 New Ross school planning area, 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 County Wexford, 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 Wexford County Council in respect of potential longer-term requirements for educational provision in all areas of Wexford. 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.

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