Dáil Éireann - Volume 548 - 14 February, 2002
Written Answers. - Schools Recognition.
Dr. Upton Dr. Upton
223. Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Education and Science the criteria used to establish a new school; the plans there are to modify these criteria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5185/02]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): I am prepared to grant recognition to new schools where sufficient demand is demonstrated and where there exists no suitable alternative provision within a reasonable distance.
The criteria for the recognition of new primary schools were reviewed by the Commission on School Accommodation in its report on criteria and procedures for the recognition of new primary schools. The criteria operated by my Department in processing applications for the recognition of new primary schools are contained in the attached appendix.
It is proposed that the criteria and procedures based on the recommendations made by the Commission on School Accommodation will come fully into effect for schools seeking recognition for 2003.
The same general conditions apply to second level schools seeking recognition However, it is anticipated that the Commission on School Accommodation will examine and report on criteria for second level schools as part of its remit.
AppendixCriteria for Recognition of New Primary Schools
The proposed school meets a need that cannot reasonably be met within existing provision. The local community is consulted in advance. The patron is registered or in the process of so doing. A board of management is to be appointed. The rules for national schools will be complied with. The proposed school has a guaranteed initial enrolment of 17 junior infants and a minimum projected enrolment of 51 pupils for the third year of operation. The patron and the board of management have ensured that interim accommodation complies with the relevant planning and health and safety provisions. The school must follow the primary school curriculum as published by the Department of Education and Science. The school must employ recognised primary school teachers. All pupils must be at least  four years of age on 30 September of the year in which the school is due to commence operation.
Dáil Éireann 548 Written Answers. Schools Recognition.