8. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his Department has assessed the need for a second level school for the City West and Saggart area in Dublin which takes into account the existing and future needs of the local community; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14375/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018)
Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): 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 to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. This system uses data from a range of sources. 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.
- For school planning purposes, the Saggart and Citywest areas are located within the Tallaght and Newcastle/Rathcoole school planning areas.
- A new 1,000 pupil post-primary in the Kingswood area of Tallaght was established in September 2016 to serve the needs of students in the Tallaght school planning area, which includes Citywest. A building project for this school commenced construction in August 2017.
- In addition, a new 1,000 pupil post-primary school is due to be established in September 2018 in Firhouse/Oldbawn, which is adjacent to the Tallaght area.
- Nationwide demographic exercises involving all school planning areas, which will determine where additional school accommodation will be needed in the future, are currently ongoing and it is anticipated that decisions based on these exercises will be announced in the coming weeks.