For Written Answer on : 25/05/2021
Question Number(s): 335 Question Reference(s): 27538/21
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Education further to Parliamentary Question No. 150 of 13 May 2021, when her Department last engaged with school authorities in the Midleton Carrigtwohill school planning area with regard to post-primary school places for September 2021; the number of students still on waiting lists for a secondary school place in the area at the time of that engagement; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department is aware of increasing pressures and demand for additional post-primary school places in a number of school planning areas including Midleton and Carrigtwohill.
Where capacity issues 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
Until these issues are discussed with the relevant school authorities the true extent of any capacity issue will only become known.
Similar to the process adopted in advance of the current academic year, my Department is engaging with patron bodies, including in the area in question, to identify particular capacity requirements for the forthcoming year(s) which may necessitate action. I wish to confirm that my Department has been engaging with all school authorities in East Cork in relation to post-primary school places for September 2021 and all available options are being considered.
To assist in the process of providing additional second level places in Midleton and Carrigtwohill for the 2021 school year, the following measures have been taken to date:.
- Additional temporary accommodation has been approved for Carrigtwohill Community College for 2021/22 pending provision of their new permanent school.
- Approved an extension to St. Aloysius College, Carrigtwohill to expand the school to cater for 1,000 pupils.
Officials from my Department have also recently been in direct contact with the Patron of Midleton CBS in relation to providing additional accommodation at the school. The Patron has confirmed that the school will enrol an additional class for September 2021.