To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans regarding the provision of a new primary school for Swords in view of the fact that the existing primary schools are at capacity; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
As the Deputy may be aware, in order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas. My Department uses a Geographical Information System (GIS) to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. The GIS uses data from a range of sources, including the Central Statistics Office, Ordnance Survey Ireland, the Department of Social Protection and my Department's own databases. With this information, my Department carries out nationwide demographic exercises at primary and post primary level to determine where additional school accommodation is needed.
The demographic data for Swords school planning area is being reviewed by my Department to take account of updated child benefit data and updated enrolment data. It is anticipated that this exercise will be concluded shortly.
Where demographic data indicates that additional provision is required, the delivery of such additional provision is dependent on the particular circumstances of each case and may, depending on the circumstances, be provided through either one, or a combination of, the following:
Utilising existing unused capacity within a school or schools,
Extending the capacity of a school or schools,
Provision of a new school or schools.