Thursday, 8 February 2024
Department of Education and Skills
208. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the extent to which it has been found possible to meet the pupil accommodation requirements in all schools throughout Kildare north, an area of rapid population expansion with particular reference to the need to ensure an adequacy of school places in time for enrolment in September 2024; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6031/24]
As the Deputy may be aware, my Department is aware of pressures for school places for the 2024/25 school year in North Kildare.
A critical next step for my Department is to establish the actual number of additional first year places required for 2024 in order for an appropriate solution to be put in place. In that context, schools in a number of areas of enrolment pressure, including North Kildare, have been requested to share data on applications for admissions. This data has been received by my officials and is currently being analysed with a view to establishing the actual requirement for places. Preliminary assessments indicate that duplications of applications, and applications from outside the local area, are contributing to enrolment pressures in North Kildare.
My Department is working to clarify the actual requirement for additional school places and to identify particular further capacity requirements for 2024 and forthcoming years. My Department will engage with schools and patrons to put any required solutions in place - beyond those that are already in train - to ensure sufficient school places to meet the needs of students in the area.
I can assure the Deputy that Department officials will continue to actively engage with schools and patrons to ensure that there is appropriate provision for all students across North Kildare for the 2024/25 school year and into the future.