Minister Foley invites applications for patronage of three new primary schools to be established in 2021

Nov 13, 2020

The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has today invited school patron bodies/prospective school patron bodies to apply for the patronage of new primary schools to be established in September 2021.

Minister Foley said: “These are uncertain times in many ways for school communities. However, I am happy to announce that the commencement of the patronage process for these schools will now proceed so that we can prepare for their opening next September. The post-primary patronage process currently underway has shown that parents and patrons are engaging with the process, albeit in unusual circumstances. It is important that the patronage process for the primary schools which are to open in 2021 is also conducted in as normal a fashion as possible, with patrons being given the opportunity to apply to run the new schools, and parents given the opportunity to express their preference on the choice of patron.”

Today’s invitation follows on from the announcement since 2018 of the establishment of 47 new schools to cater for demographic growth over the four-year period from 2019 to 2022.

The Department has recently completed the first step of an updated review of demographics at primary level, having regard to updated information on demographics and additional residential development. Following this review the Minister for Education has approved a number of changes to the list of primary schools to be established in 2021, as follows:

Schools will be established in 2021, as planned, in the following school planning areas:

  • Donaghmede_Howth_D13
  • Dublin2_Dublin4
  • Sallynoggin_Killiney_DLR/North

The establishment of the following schools are deferred from 2021:

  • Bray/Woodbrook Shanganagh
  • Clondalkin_D22
  • Gurranbraher_CorkCity
  • Naas
  • Kilkenny/City, Western Environs

Planning and preparation work will continue in the interim on advancing the above schools’ accommodation. A patronage process is run after it has been decided that a new school is required.

As a result of the implementation of measures to increase access to Irish-medium education as part of the patronage process announced in September 2019, two of the new schools, in Donaghmede_Howth_D13 and Dublin2_Dublin4, have been designated as Irish-medium primary schools. Accordingly, while language preferences will not be sought from parents in these areas, parents are encouraged to express their preference for the patronage of the schools.

Prospective patrons should complete an application form, which is available on the Department’s website, and submit this to the Department by e-mail by 5 p.m. on 19 November 2020. The information in this form will provide key information to parents and guardians in expressing a preference, which is one of the key determinants in decisions on patronage.

Inviting applications from interested patrons/prospective patrons today, Minister Foley said:

“Parental preferences for each patron, from parents/guardians of children who reside in the school planning areas concerned, together with the extent of diversity of provision currently available in these areas, will be key to decisions in relation to the outcome of this process.

“I am particularly pleased that two of these three new primary schools are designated as Irish-medium primary schools in advance of the OPPS being run, providing an Irish-medium option for parents in these school planning areas which has not been available to date.”

An online patronage process system (OPPS) has been developed to provide objective information to parents and guardians which will allow them to make an informed choice in expressing a preference for their preferred model of patronage for their child’s education, including their preference for their child to be educated through the medium of Irish or English in the case of the new school for the Sallynoggin_Killiney_DLR/North school planning area. The OPPS will open for parental preferences soon after the patron application process is completed.

The patronage process for new schools is overseen by the New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG). This Group was set up in 2011 to advise the Minister on the patronage of new schools following its consideration of a report prepared by the Department on the applications received.

The schools will be established in line with the requirements and criteria originally announced in June 2011 for the patronage of new schools. These requirements and criteria are published on the Department’s website and will also be provided to prospective applicants. Applicants must confirm that they will comply with each of the requirements and criteria in order for their application to be processed.