The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD has today announced his decision on the patronage of new post-primary schools to be established in 2013 and 2014. This announcement is the culmination of the process which began in June 2011 when the Minister announced that 20 new post-primary schools were to be established up to 2017 across a number of locations in order to cater for increasing pupil numbers.
Four new post-primary schools will open in September 2013, all of which will be under the patronage of the local Vocational Educational Committee (VEC).
Ten new post-primary schools will open in September 2014, four of which will be under VEC patronage, one will be under the patronage of Le Chéile Schools Trust, two will be under the patronage of An Foras Pátrúnachta, one will be under the patronage of the Church of Ireland, one will be under the Patronage of Educate Together and one school will be under the joint patronage of a VEC and Educate Together.
The successful patrons include: Lusk, Co. Dublin, County Dublin VEC; Claregalway, Co. Galway, County Galway VEC; Naas, Co. Kildare, County Kildare VEC; Navan, Co. Meath County Meath VEC; Cork City – South Suburbs/ Carrigaline, County Cork VEC; Blanchardstown West, Dublin 15, Educate Together; Mulhuddart, Dublin 15, Le Chéile Schools Trust; Maynooth, Co. Kildare, County Kildare VEC; Drogheda, Co. Louth, Joint patronage County Louth VEC and Educate Together; Dundalk, Co. Louth, County Louth VEC; Ashbourne, Co. Meath, County Meath VEC; Dundrum, Co. Dublin, An Foras Pátrúnachta; Greystones, Co. Wicklow, Church of Ireland.
In the case of both Maynooth, Co. Kildare and Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, the Department noted the high level of parental demand identified as part of this process for alternative language provision in these areas and so the Department will make provision to cater for this demand.
Department officials will shortly contact each of the patron bodies in regard to the logistics of the establishment of these new schools.
The patronage of the new schools, according to the Minister, was based upon “parental demand for plurality and diversity of patronage”.
The Minister last year officially recognised Educate Together as a second level patron. The Minister also stressed that it is the first time in a generation a new Catholic and a new Church of Ireland voluntary secondary school are to open.
Last year, the Minister also announced new criteria and arrangements for the recognition of the new schools including the establishment of a New Schools Establishment Group, an independent advisory group to advise the Minister on the patronage of the new schools following its consideration of a report prepared by Department officials which reported to the Minister at the end of June.