Text size

40 new schools to be established in next six years – Minister Quinn

June 28, 2011

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., today announced that 20 new primary schools and 20 new post-primary schools are to be established in the next six years.

Announcing the new schools, the Minister said: “My Department is forecasting an increase of over 45,050 primary pupils and 24,900 post-primary pupils by the start of the 2017/18 school year.

“In order to meet the needs of our growing population of school going children, we will have to establish 40 new schools, as well as extending a number of existing schools.”

Of the 40 new schools, 17 will be in the Dublin area with a further twelve in the commuter belt of Wicklow, Kildare, Meath and Louth.

There will be six new schools established in Cork, three in Galway, and one each in Wexford and Cavan. (Please see attached map showing the locations of the new schools)

These new schools will be in addition to the seven new primary schools opened in autumn 2010.  The new schools will generally be sixteen-classroom primary schools and up to 1,000-student post-primary schools.  The estimated capital cost of the establishment of the new schools is in the region of €380m and the programme of delivery will include some PPP projects.   There will also be additional school extension projects which will be needed to cater for the growing school going population.

The Minister also announced the establishment of new arrangements for the recognition of new primary and second-level schools.  Minister Quinn said: “With the significant number of new schools, there will be an opportunity for patrons to seek to apply for patronage of these schools.

“The new arrangements published by my Department today, provide a balanced approach to allow for applications to be made from prospective patrons for the establishment of schools.

“The criteria to be used in deciding on patronage of the new schools place a particular emphasis on parental demand for plurality and diversity of patronage.”

The announcement further emphasises the Minister’s commitment to ensure speedy implementation of the commitments in the Programme for Government on moving towards a more pluralist system of patronage at second level.

It also builds on the establishment by the Minister of Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector.

“Parental preferences should be at the centre of considerations about the type of school to be recognised,” said Minister Quinn.

“The new arrangements will provide that patron bodies proposing schools at either primary or second level will be asked to provide evidence of demand.”

The Minister also announced the establishment of a New Schools Establishment Group which will advise him on the patronage of the new schools following its consideration of a report on the applications to be prepared by the Department.  The Group is to be chaired by Dr. Seamus McGuinness (retired senior lecturer in the Education Department at Trinity College Dublin) and also includes Ms. Sylda Langford (retired Director of the Office of the Minister for Children) and Prof. Seán Ó Riain (Sociology Department, NUI Maynooth).

The next steps in the process of establishing these new schools are:

  • The Department will shortly inform patron bodies of the details of the first schools which are to be established.
  • The patron bodies can then make applications for consideration.
  • Department officials will draft a report based on these applications to be considered by the New Schools Establishment Group and it will submit a report with recommendations for consideration of the Minister.