Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Education and Skills

School Accommodation

Marc Ó Cathasaigh (Waterford, Green Party)
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413. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if her attention has been drawn to the lack of school places for students in north County Wicklow; if actions are being undertaken to address the shortage of places; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44581/20]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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My Department is aware of increasing pressures and demand for additional post-primary school places in a number of school planning areas including North County Wicklow.

Where capacity issues arise, it may not be as a result of lack of accommodation but may be driven by the following factors:

- Duplication of applications – pupils have applied for a place to a number of schools in the area.

- School of choice – pupils can’t get a place in their preferred school while there are places in other schools in the town/area.

- Some towns/areas have single sex schools and while places are available in the school, they are not available to all pupils.

- External draw – pupils coming from outside the local area

Until these issues are discussed with the relevant school authorities the true extent of any capacity issue will only become known.

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


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