Tue, 19 Nov 2019

DUBLIN, Ireland - A process has begun to determine who the patrons will be for six new post-primary schools to be established in September next year.

On Monday the education department called for applications.

The move follows the announcement in April 2018 that the government was making a major investment in education with the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years through to 2022.

The six new schools are being set up to meet the demand from growing populations in parts of Greater Dublin, Meath/Kildare and Wicklow.

"I am pleased to invite patrons and prospective patrons to apply to become a patron for any or all of these six new schools," Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh said Monday.

"Patronage for a new school is an important decision for a community. These invitations to patrons are only the first step. Over the coming months an online patronage survey will run in each area where parents and guardians of eligible children living in the areas will be asked to express their preferences on patronage of these new schools. These patronage preferences, together with the extent of diversity currently in each area, will be key to decisions on successful patrons."

"I would also appeal to prospective patrons as the information they provide now and over the coming months will help inform parents. Clear, concise and comprehensive information will help parents to make an informed decision," the minister said.

The patronage process is taking place for the six new post-primary schools in the following areas:

- Dublin 15: Blanchardstown West D15 & BlanchardstownVillage D15

- Goatstown: Goatstown Stillorgan Dun Laoghaire Rathdown

- Enfield: Kilcock

- Citywest/Saggart: Tallaght & Newcastle/Rathcoole

- Harold's Cross: Dublin 6 Clonskeagh & Dublin 6W

Wicklow: Kilcoole & Greystones

The parental preference survey in relation to the new schools will be held as part of the Online Patronage Process System (OPPS).

The OPPS provides for objective information to be shared with parents and guardians to support them in making an informed choice to express their preferred model of patronage for their child's education. This also includes an option for parents to express a preference for Irish or English medium education.

Parents whose children will be commencing first year in secondary school from 2020-2024 and who are living in the relevant school planning areas will be eligible to make their preferences known in the online survey.

Prospective patrons should complete an application form, which is available on the Department's website.

Aoolications will close at 5pm on 28 August 2019.

The details submitted, the department says, will be used to provide information to parents and guardians at the stage at which parental preference is sought.

The patronage process for new schools is overseen by the New Schools Establishment Group.

(Photo c redit: Flickr).

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