To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the provision of the two new primary schools for Swords, County Dublin as announced in April 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the provision of the new primary school for Donabate, County Dublin as announced in April 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
As the Deputy is aware, I announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years. This announcement followed nationwide demographic exercises carried out by my Department into the current and future need for primary and post-primary school places across the country. This announcement included a new primary school for Donabate and two new primary schools for Swords: one in North Swords and one in South Swords.
The current focus for my Department is to prioritise the 17 schools opening in 2019 so that patrons can be appointed and accommodation solutions put in place as soon as possible. My Department has appointed a Project Manager to assist with this work and potential interim accommodation solution options have been identified for the majority of the 17 schools.
My Department's Design and Build Programme will be the main delivery mechanism for providing permanent accommodation for the 42 new schools. A procurement process is currently underway to facilitate the appointment of a Project Manager who will assist my Department in the provision of permanent accommodation for the new schools to be established from 2020 onwards.
A patronage process is ongoing in respect of the four post primary schools due to open in 2019 and I expect to make an announcement shortly in this regard. A patronage process for the primary schools due to open in 2019 will commence shortly thereafter.
I wish to advise the Deputy that a site currently in my ownership in Mooretown, Swords has recently been granted planning permission in respect of the provision of permanent accommodation for Swords Community College. This planning permission also provides for a primary school on this site and it is intended to locate the new primary school announced for North Swords on this property.
A site identification process in respect of the new primary schools announced for South Swords and Donabate are currently underway. In line with the policy on the use of State assets (Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Circulars 11/15 and 17/16), my Department will be seeking to maximize the use of sites already in my ownership and of available properties in the ownership of other State bodies, where these are considered suitable. In addition as part of my Department's ongoing engagement with Local Authorities in respect of statutory planning processes and under the MoU on school site acquisitions, my Department is examining all potential suitable site options, including appropriately zoned sites, to serve the relevant area.
A decision regarding the location of the schools in South Swords and Donabate will be made at the earliest possible date.