Education | Enrolment pressures in Maynooth, Clane, Prosperous, and other locations
To ask the Minister for Education if she will meet with a delegation of parents, teachers and school authorities from North Kildare, with a view to ensuring the availability of sufficient places at primary and post-primary level in September 2023, with particular reference to Maynooth, Clane, Prosperous or other locations as identified by the relevant school authorities; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
As the Deputy will be aware, for school planning purposes, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas and utilises a Geographical Information System to anticipate school place demand. Information from a range of sources, including Child Benefit data, school enrolment data and information on residential development activity is used for this purpose. Additionally, Project Ireland 2040 population and housing targets inform my Department’s projections of school place requirements.
While my Department is aware of increasing pressures and demand for additional school places in North Kildare, it is important to note that where enrolment pressures arise, it may not be as a result of lack of accommodation but may be driven by the following factors:
- Duplication of applications – pupils have applied for a place to a number of schools in the area
- School of choice – pupils can’t get a place in their preferred school while there are places in other schools in the town/area
- Some towns/areas have single sex schools and while places are available in the school they are not available to all pupils
- External draw – pupils coming from outside the local area
My Department is working to establish the true extent of any capacity issues across school planning areas through ongoing discussions with the relevant school patrons and authorities.
This close engagement will allow my Department to identify at an early stage particular capacity requirements for the forthcoming years which may necessitate further action to that already in train including, where required, the provision of modular accommodation solutions.
As the Deputy will be aware, I have agreed to meet with representatives of post primary schools in North Kildare to discuss enrolment pressures in their areas.
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