Written answers

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Department of Education and Skills

School Enrolments

Photo of Louise O'ReillyLouise O'Reilly (Dublin Fingal, Sinn Fein)
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412. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if additional resources will be provided for a school (details supplied) to allow for an increase in the student population, specifically in order that additional first-year students can be taken in for the academic year 2022. [62857/21]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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The Department is aware of some local pressures and demand for additional post-primary school places in a number of school planning areas across the country including the Swords school planning area.

However, it is important to note that where enrolment pressures 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.

My Department is working to establish the true extent of any capacity issues through ongoing discussions with the relevant school authorities/patrons.  In that context, similar to the process adopted in advance of the current academic year, the Department is engaging with school patron bodies/school authorities to identify particular capacity requirements for the forthcoming year(s) which may necessitate action including, where required, the provision of modular accommodation solutions. 

As the Deputy is aware, a major project is planned for the school in question which includes the development of a 1,000 pupil school and a 4 Classroom special educational needs base, consisting of the renovation of the existing school building and the construction of a new extension.  

I can confirm that additional interim accommodation was recently provided to the school, in the short-term, to cater for increased enrolment pending delivery of the school's major project.

In addition, a new 1,000 pupil school building was completed in 2020 for Swords Community College to assist in addressing the post primary school place requirements in the Swords school planning area.

Building projects currently underway in post primary schools in Swords include extensions and refurbishments at :

St. Finian's Community College - extension to provide for a long term projected enrolment of 1,000 pupils.

Loreto College - extension and refurbishment to cater for a long term projected enrolment of 1,000 pupils.

My Department's engagement with Patrons/school authorities 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.


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