Multi-denominational patrons for 12 new primary schools
Educate Together awarded patronage of seven new commuter belt schools
The patron bodies for 12 new primary schools will all be non-denominational or multidenominational in nature.
The Department of Education made the announcement on Thursday following a vote involving parents in 12 areas where population growth requires new schools.
Patron bodies are responsible for the ethos and oversight of schools and are also accountable for financial and property issues.
All the new schools’ patron bodies are non-denominational or multidenominational in nature.
Educate Together has been awarded the patronage of seven new primary schools.
State-owned Education and Training Boards have been awarded the patronage of three new primary schools (Swords north and south, Co Dublin; and Dunshaughlin, Co Meath).
They will become multi-denominational Community National Schools.
It will also run a new gaelscoil serving the Drumcondra/Marino area of Dublin 1, which was previously announced.
Between them, they will have capacity to cater for more than 3,300 primary pupils when fully developed.
It is envisaged these primary schools will be established in temporary accommodation initially, pending permanent accommodation solutions being put in place. All the new schools are due to open in September 2019.
Minister for Education Joe McHugh said parental preference was a key determinant in deciding the patronage of new schools.
“I’m pleased to say that the views of parents as expressed through the process are strongly reflected in the decisions I have made on the patronage of these 12 new schools,” he said.
He said all applications were assessed on the basis of published criteria, including the extent of diversity in existing schools and the scale of diversity to be provided by the new school or schools.
Mr McHugh added that he was very pleased that they include gaelscoileanna, reflecting the high level of parental demand for Irish-medium provision in these areas.
However, Conradh na Gaeilge criticised the fact that the vast majority of schools will teach through the medium of English.
Julian de Spáinn, general secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge, said ESRI research in 2015 found that 23 per cent of the population would choose Irish medium education for their children if there was a gaelscoil near them. However, just 5 per cent of schools are gaelscoils.
“The two new schools, while welcome, will not change this,” he said.
Mr de Spáinn said Conradh will “assess all options to oppose this bad decision and to ensure that such a disastrous decision is not taken again.”
In a statement, the Department of Education said it has outlined a new model on how additional opportunities to expand Irish-medium provision could be provided.
It includes engaging with existing Irish-medium patrons in relation to demand, and the potential for expansion of existing Irish-medium schools or the requirement for new schools.
Patronage of schools to be established in September 2019
Glasheen/Cork City: Educate Together (eight classroom school)
Booterstown/Blackrock: An Foras Pátrúnachta (eight classrooms )
Donaghmede/ Howth/ D13: Educate Together (16 classrooms)
Dublin 6_Clonskeagh & Dublin 6W: Educate Together (16 classrooms)
Goatstown/ Stillorgan: Educate Together (16 classrooms)
Killester/Raheny/Clontarf: Educate Together (eight classrooms)
Swords north: Dublin Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board (eight classrooms)
Swords south: Dublin Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board (eight classrooms)
Leixlip: Educate Together (eight classrooms)
Maynooth: An Foras Pátrúnachta (eight classrooms)
Dunshaughlin: Louth Meath Education and Training Board (eight classrooms)
Kilcoole/Newtownmountkennedy: Educate Together (eight classrooms)