New primary schools for Dublin, Cork, Galway and Wicklow
Two non-religious patrons selected for schools opening next September
Seven new primary schools are being established over the next two years to help meet the growing demand for places, especially in urban areas.
Four of the schools are in Dublin, and one each in Cork, Galway and Wicklow.
Of the four schools opening in September 2015, two have undergone a patronage determination process. These are Pelletstown/Ashtown, Dublin, which will be run by Educate Together; and Knocknacarra, Galway city, whose patron is Lifeways Ireland, which uses the Steiner model promoting “holistic and comprehensive” child development.
The two other schools opening in September are at Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork; and Greystones, Co. Wicklow.
The three primary schools scheduled for opening in September 2016 are at Goatstown/Stillorgan; Cabra/Phibsborough; and Drumcondra/Marino, all in Dublin.
A patronage determination process for these schools will be run later this year, overseen by the department’s New Schools Establishment Group.
Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan said: “The criteria to be used in deciding on patronage of the new schools place a particular emphasis on parental demand for plurality and diversity of patronage.
“Parental preferences should be at the centre of considerations about the type of school to be recognised. The patronage arrangements in place provide that patron bodies proposing schools at either primary or second level will be asked to provide evidence of demand.”
About 90 per cent of primary schools in the state remain under Catholic patronage, and there has been widespread criticism of the slow pace of progress in divestment.
Construction of the seven schools is due to cost €24 million, creating 240 direct jobs and 48 indirect jobs in the process.
Between them, the seven schools will cater for almost 3,000 pupils. Since 2001, there have been 20 other new primary schools opened.
Ms O’Sullivan said: “My Department is predicting a continuing increase in primary school pupils up until at least 2019 in parts of the country.”