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Written Answers - School Patronage

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 762 No. 1

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 47.  Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  the reason the language for the new second level school in Balbriggan, County Dublin, was decided in advance of any consultation with the community or parental bodies; if he will consider as a matter of urgency that in view of the ethnic diversity and youth profile of the town that a second school would be sanctioned under the patronage of Educate Together on a campus sharing arrangement as at primary level. [19416/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn As the Deputy may be aware, in June 2011 I announced that 20 new post-primary schools are to be established up to 2017 across a number of locations to cater for increasing demographics. I also stated at that time that an initial decision would be made by my Department, before seeking applications for patronage, on whether the school would operate through the medium of Irish or English and that applications would be sought from patrons when this decision was made.

An analysis was carried out on all of the areas in which new schools are to be delivered to determine the language of instruction of the schools. Consideration was given to the levels of existing and planned provision of both English medium and Irish medium schools within and adjacent to the areas concerned. In the case of the new school to be established in Balbriggan in 2014 it was decided that the medium of instruction should be Irish.

The closing date for receipt of applications for patronage of the post-primary schools to be established in 2013 and 2014 was Friday 24th February 2012. My Department is assessing all applications in line with the published criteria and will prepare a report for submission to the New Schools Establishment Group. The Group will in turn submit their report to me for final consideration and decision.

My Department will continue to monitor enrolments in the Balbriggan area to ensure that there is sufficient school accommodation to meet any projected future demands.

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