Thursday, 29 April 2021
Department of Education and Skills
61. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills when a decision will be made in respect of an appeal against a decision to refuse sanction for an extension lodged by a school (details supplied) in County Galway; the reason for the delay in making a decision on this appeal; if her attention has been drawn to the urgent need for an extension to the school in question; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22391/21]
I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department is aware of increasing pressures and demand for additional school places in a number of school planning areas.
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 there 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, to identify particular capacity requirements for the forthcoming year(s) which may necessitate action including, where required, the provision of modular accommodation solutions.
Officials in my Department are communicating with the Patron, of the school in question, in relation to demographics in this school planning area. My Department is currently working to examine the capacity of the schools in the area to meet projected demand. On completion of this analysis a decision will be relayed directly to the school authority referred.
62. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding providing a permanent and fully resourced school building for a school (details supplied); and if she will provide a timeline to completion of the project to permanently locate the school. [22395/21]
My Department has given approval to the Patron of the school referred to by the Deputy to appoint a Consultant to undertake an Options Study of the property in question. This Study, when available, will be used as a basis for determining the necessary refurbishment works required to the property.