For Written Answer on : 16/11/2023
Question Number(s): 143 Question Reference(s): 50328/23
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Education further to Topical Issue Debate No. 2 of 5 July 2023, and with reference to her Department’s projected growth in enrolments in the east Cork area in the short to medium term, if she will outline the projected demand figures for second level school places in the Midleton and Carrigtwohill school planning area for each respective year for the next five years, beginning September 2024; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
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 in a school planning area have the potential to alter demand in that area. In that regard, as part of the demographic exercises, my Department engages with each of the local authorities to obtain the up-to-date information on significant new residential development in each area. This is necessary to ensure that schools infrastructure planning is keeping pace with demographic changes as there is a constantly evolving picture with planned new residential development.
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 increase slightly to a peak in 2025 and reduce slightly thereafter.
Where demographic data indicates that additional provision is required, the delivery of such additional provision is dependent on the particular circumstances of each case and may, be provided through:
• Utilising existing unused capacity within a school or schools,
• Extending the capacity of a school or schools,
• Provision of a new school or schools.
There are five post-primary capital projects planned in the Midleton_Carrigtwohill school planning area which when completed, will cater for the demand for school places in the area:
St. Colman’s College Midleton – extension to expand the school to cater for 1,300 pupils. The school had an enrolment of 951 pupils in 2022. The school had an extension completed in 2020 to expand to 1,000 pupils.
Carrigtwohill Community College – New school due to be completed shortly to provide for 1,000 pupils. The school had an enrolment in 2022 of 662 pupils.
St. Aloysius College Carrigtwohill – Extension to expand capacity to 1,000 pupils – the school had an enrolment of 774 pupils in 2022/23. This project is at stage 2a
St. Mary’s High School Midleton – Project at Site Acquisition stage for a new school to cater for 1,000 pupils. The school had an enrolment of 768 pupil in 2022/23.
Midleton CBS – Extension to cater for 1,000 pupils. The school had an enrolment of 943 pupils in 2022/23 – the project is at stage 1.
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.