Education: St Molagas Accommodation crisis & Swords, shortage of school places.

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Dáil Issues, Education

QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the project brief for the building works at a school (details supplied) has been finalised; the commencement date of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) St Molagas National School Balbriggan

REPLY

I wish to advise the Deputy that a project for St. Molaga’s National School is included in my Department’s Capital Programme to primarily replace existing temporary accommodation with permanent accommodation. In that regard officials in my Department are currently preparing the project brief which will facilitate the progression of the project into Architectural Planning, including the appointment of a Design Team.  In this context I can confirm that a meeting has been arranged with the school authorities for early February in relation to their project.

In the interim I am pleased to advise that my Department has approved additional temporary accommodation to meet the school’s immediate accommodation needs.
QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the steps he is taking to address the shortage of primary school places in the catchment area of south west Swords with a view to the 2018 enrolments; and his plans to provide a long term solution to the ongoing shortage of places to meet the needs of the community.

REPLY

In order to plan for school provision, the demographic data for the Swords school planning area, as with other school planning areas nationwide, is being kept under ongoing review by my Department to take account of updated child benefit data and updated enrolment data. It is anticipated that decisions based on these exercises will be announced in the near future.
As the Deputy is aware, there are a total of 11 schools enrolling junior infant classes serving the Swords area, comprising 8 Catholic schools, one Gaelscoil, one Educate Together school and one Church of Ireland school. My Department is aware of the pressure on school places in recent years in the Swords school planning area. In that regard, my Department is monitoring the expected enrollment position in the school planning area with the aim of ensuring that there is adequate accommodation to cater for the demand for places in September 2018.