Dáil Éireann - Volume 623 - 04 July, 2006
Written Answers. - School Placement.
Ms Burton Ms Burton
Ms Burton asked the Minister for Education and Science if she is satisfied that there are sufficient schools places in the Dublin west area to cater for primary school entry requirement for September 2006; the measures taken to address the shortage that was identified in that area recently; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25906/06]
Ms Hanafin Ms Hanafin
Ms Hanafin:As I have told the House before, I am acutely aware that west Dublin — Dublin 15 in particular — is one of the most rapidly developing areas in the country and, that as a result, there has been a marked increase in the demand for primary school places.
I have also outlined the significant interventions being made by my Department to tackle this issue. These include measures to increase the capacity of existing schools along with the development of new schools to meet the growing demand. All building projects arising from these interventions are awarded a band 1 priority rating under my Departments prioritisation criteria for large scale building projects which means that they will be delivered in the fastest time frame possible.
Significant additional school places are being made available this coming September through the expansion of provision by the existing patron bodies Educate Together and the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin. This involves an additional intake stream at Castaheaney Educate Together National School and the opening of a new school, St. Benedict’s Ongar, under the Patronage of the Archdiocese. These developments in particular will greatly ease the pressure on school places as referred to by the Deputy.
The provision of increased places is and will continue to be backed up by a significant construction programme. A new school building has recently been completed at Mary Mother of Hope National School which is in  Littlepace/Castaheaney area, with an additional project underway with a target delivery date of September 2007. A new primary school campus is planned for a school site in Ongar also which will have a minimum of 32 classrooms which will address the needs of Castaheaney Educate Together National School again with a target completion date of September, 2007.
Those particular developments are but part of a wider agenda for increased provision in the area. In Diswellstown, St. Patrick’s National School has recently moved into a new 24 classroom school and the Board of Management has agreed to take a fourth stream of Junior infants this year. Furthermore the Board of Management of St. Mochta’s National School, which currently has an intake of 3 junior infant classes, has agreed to enrol a fourth Junior Infant class for September 2006 and an extension project to cater for this development will also be expedited.
Other developments in the Dublin 15 area include the planned expansion of St. Brigid’s National School in Castleknock and extensions to St. Brigid’s Boys and Girls National Schools, Blanchardstown. In Tyrrellstown, a new Educate Together school opened in September 2005. My Department has approved the provision of six additional classrooms for September 2006 to cater for new enrolments and special education delivery. It is anticipated that this school will enrol three junior infant classes.
Additional accommodation is being provided for St. Ciaran’s National school in Hartstown to cater for its accommodation needs for next September and the long term requirements of the school are being assessed so that permanent accommodation can be provided as quickly as possible. An additional two classrooms and two resource rooms have been approved at St. Patrick’s N.S., Corduff to cater for increased enrolments.
I am confident that a combination of the measures outlined together with radical changes in how projects are planned and managed will ensure an adequacy of primary school places in west Dublin for the coming September and well into the future.
Dáil Éireann 623 Written Answers. School Placement.