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For Oral Answer on : 30/11/2023
Question Number(s): 91 Question Reference(s): 52810/23
Department: Education
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
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QUESTION


To ask the Minister for Education further to Parliamentary Question No. 143 of 16 November 2023, to outline her Department’s current specific projections of annual demand for second level school places in the Midleton and Carrigtwohill school planning area for each respective year from 2024 to 2028 inclusive; the specific projected demand for non-denominational second level school places during the same period; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY


I wish to advise the Deputy that requirements for school places is kept under on-going review in the context of available information on population, enrolments and residential development activity. 

In order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas and uses a Geographical Information System, using data from a range of sources, including CSO Census data, Child Benefit and school enrolment data, to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise and where additional school accommodation is needed at primary and post-primary level.

Major new residential developments have the potential to alter the demand for school places at a local level. In that regard, as part of the demographic demand analysis, my Department monitors planning and construction activity in the residential sector. This involves the analysis of data sources from Local Authorities and the CSO along with the engagement with local authorities and the construction sector. In this way, up-to-date information on significant new residential developments is obtained and factored into the demographic analysis exercise. This is necessary to ensure that schools infrastructure planning is keeping pace with demographic changes, at a local level, where there is a constantly evolving picture with planned new residential development.

My Department does not project demand for non – denominated or any denomination at any level, as this demand as this is based on individual preferences. My Department compiles enrolment projections in primary and post-primary school on national and regional (NUTS3) level. The breakdown by school ethos is not available. The latest published projections can be found here: https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/projections/ . The new set of projections is currently under development and will be published in New Year.

There are five non fee paying post primary schools in the Midleton_Carrigtwohill school planning area. The schools had a 2022 enrolment of 4,098 pupils. Enrolments are projected to peak in 2025 and reduce slightly thereafter.

The Department will continue to liaise with Local Authorities in respect of their County Development Plan and any associated Local Area Plans with a view to identifying any potential long-term school accommodation requirements across school planning areas.