Written answers

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Department of Education and Skills

School Admissions

Photo of Thomas GouldThomas Gould (Cork North Central, Sinn Fein)
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120. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if her attention has been drawn to a lack of secondary school places in the Glanmire area of Cork. [59410/21]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department is aware of increasing pressures and demand for additional post-primary school places in a number of school planning areas, including County Cork.

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 Cork, to identify particular capacity requirements for the forthcoming year(s) which may necessitate action.  This engagement with Patrons is ongoing and is focussed on ensuring that the start of the 2022/23 school year operates as smoothly as possible for all schools and their students

As the Deputy may be aware, my Department recently approved an extension to the existing Colaiste an Phairsaigh. This major project will increase capacity to a 750 pupil post-primary school. The project has been devolved to the Joint Managerial Board (JMB) for delivery. This request is currently being assessed and my Department will convey a desision to the school authority when this process has been completed.  

Pending completion of the building project, my Department has approved 3 general classrooms and a science room through the Department’s Framework of Modular Accommodation. This project is currently underway and the expected handover is early January 2022. The school has put contingency arrangements in place to make best use of existing accommodation (including accommodation currently rented) until the modular accommodation is ready to be occupied.


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