Written answers

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Department of Education and Skills

School Patronage

Photo of James O'ConnorJames O'Connor (Cork East, Fianna Fail)
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58. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the steps her Department is taking with regard to a change of school patronage (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22364/21]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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The Schools Recon?guration for Diversity process is aimed at supporting transfers of schools to multi-denominational patrons in response to the wishes of local families. This process involves the transfer of existing live schools as opposed to the amalgamation and/or closure model of the patronage divesting process. 

The “Early Movers” provision of the Schools Reconfiguration Process enables patronage transfers to take place for school communities which have decided to make this change. Where there is such local agreement, a school patron may seek to transfer patronage to a new patron under section 8 of the Education Act 1998.  My Department facilitates such transfers of patronage where requested by the relevant school patron.  A number of patronage changes have taken place in recent years in this way, resulting in the provision of an additional 11 multi-denominational Community National Schools.  In addition, an Irish-medium gaelscoil has recently changed patronage from its Catholic patron to An Foras Pátrúnachta.

Accordingly, any school community which wishes to pursue a transfer of patronage should engage with their school patron in the first instance.

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