Applications sought for patronage of six new post-primary schools

Schools are to be built by September 2020 in Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow

The Government plans to build 42 new schools over the next four years.

Minister for Education Joe McHugh has invited school patron bodies to apply for the patronage of six new post-primary schools to be established next year.

The schools are to be built by September 2020.

This is part of a major investment in education by the Government, which plans to build 42 new schools over the next four years.

The six new schools are being set up to meet the demand from growing populations in parts of Greater Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow.


These areas include Blanchardstown, Goatstown, Citywest/Saggart and Harold’s Cross in Dublin; Enfield/Kilcock in Kildare/Meath; and Kilcoole/Greystones in Wicklow.

Parents whose children will be starting first year from 2020-2024 and who are living in the areas listed will be eligible to make their preferences known in an online survey carried out by the Online Patronage Process System (OPPS).

Prospective patrons should complete an application form, which is available on thedepartment's website.

The patronage process for new schools is overseen by the New Schools Establishment Group, which was established in 2011 to advise the Minister.

The deadline for the form to be submitted is 5pm on August 28th.

Mr McHugh said patronage for a new school is an important decision for a community.

“These invitations to patrons are only the first step. Over the coming months an online patronage survey will run in each area where parents and guardians of eligible children living in the areas will be asked to express their preferences on patronage of these new schools. These patronage preferences, together with the extent of diversity currently in each area, will be key to decisions on successful patrons,” he said in a statement.

“I would also appeal to prospective patrons as the information they provide now and over the coming months will help inform parents. Clear, concise and comprehensive information will help parents to make an informed decision.”

Current School Patrons


Catholic Church: It remains the dominant player in primary education, with almost 90 per cent of primary schools.

Protestant denominations: They are sole patrons of just over 5 per cent of primary schools, or 165 in total.

Multidenominational: Educate Together is the most familiar of the non-religious patrons with almost 3 per cent of primary schools. An Foras Patrúnacta, the Irish-language patron, controls 2 per cent of primary schools.

Others include State-run Education and Training boards (ETBs) which run 12 “community national schools” on a multidenominational basis, Scoil Sinéad and Lifeways Ireland (patrons of Steiner schools).


Catholic Church: It is the patron or co-patron for just under half (48 per cent) of post-primary schools. They are mostly voluntary secondary schools.

Multidenominational: Almost half of secondary schools (49 per cent) have a multidenominational ethos. The bulk of these are community schools (under the direct control of State-owned Education and Training Boards) and are mostly multidenominational.

Church of Ireland: It is responsible for the running of 23 post-primary schools (3 per cent).