Update on Local Schools: Holy Family, St Joseph’s and St Mologa’s

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Dáil Issues, Education, Parliamentary Questions

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the progress made in the acquisition of a site for a new school (details supplied) in County Dublin and the delivery of temporary accommodation at the existing site in the interim; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) at St Josephs in Rush County Dublin.

REPLY: As the Deputy is aware the building project for the school in question is included on my Department’s capital programme.

The Department of Education has recently contacted officials in Fingal County Council for assistance under the Memorandum of Understanding in relation to the identification and acquisition of a suitable site.  Negotiations with relevant landowners in respect of the potential acquisition of the zoned post primary school site at that location is currently underway.

Officials in my Department are engaging with officials in the Council and both sets of officials are working to progress matters as quickly as possible, in cognisance of the school’s current accommodation constraints .

It is difficult to indicate a timeline for the completion of the acquisition of a site for the school in question as it is dependent on the outcome of current negotiations and also on the complexity of the conveyancing process. Once a site has been acquired, the project can progress to architectural planning.  My officials will continue to keep the Patron appraised of developments in the site acquisition process.

In the interim, my Department has approved the provision of additional temporary accommodation for 2019/2020 for the school referred to by the Deputy at its current location and the initial approval letter issued to the school authorities in November 2018. My Department has been in contact with the school regarding documentation to finalise the provision of temporary accommodation. The school has advised my Department that this documentation will be provided in the coming weeks.

QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to address the immediate problem of over subscription at a school (details supplied) for the 2019 school year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) Holy Family Junior National School given that the school has received 276 applications by 31 January 2019 with a capacity to offer only 162 places leaving 114 children on a waiting list.

REPLY: In relation to school admissions, parents can choose which school to apply to and where the school
has places available, the pupil should be admitted. However, in schools where there are more applicants than places available, a selection process may be necessary. This selection process and the enrolment policy on which it is based must be non-discriminatory and must be applied fairly in respect of all applicants. However, this may result in some pupils not obtaining a place in the school of their first choice. The Deputy will note however that the selection process procedures and enrollment policy are the responsibility of the individual school authorities.

As the Deputy will be aware, two new Primary schools will be established to provide additional school capacity in the Swords area in North County Dublin. These schools will open in September 2019 in suitable interim accommodation.

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of developments to advance a project (details supplied). (Details Supplied) St Mologa’s school project.

REPLY: A major building project for the school referred to by the Deputy is included in my Department’s 6 year Construction Programme.

A project brief has been finalised and the project will be delivered via the ADAPT programme which is an innovative delivery programme first introduced by my Department in 2016.  It uses a professional external Project Manager to coordinate and drive the respective design teams on each project.

In this regard, a tender competition is in train to establish a Project Manager framework which is expected to be in place this month. Tenders have been returned and are currently being evaluated.

Whilst the Department must adhere to the Public Procurement rules for the appointment of consultant Design Teams the Building Unit will expedite this process in so far as possible.

All schools with projects on the ADAPT programme will be contacted shortly by my Department to provide an update on the status of their respective project