SCHOOL authorities in Naas and Maynooth are to be contacted by the Department of Education and Science about plans for new secondary school in both areas.
Interested bodies can now apply to the Department for patronage of a school and the deadline for making applications is November 18.
It is planned to open 20 primary school and 20 post primary schools around the country over the next six years and most of these are in Dublin or the commuter counties of Kildare, Wicklow, Meath and Louth.
It is hoped to open the Naas school in 2013 while the deadline for the Maynooth project is a year later. Both schools will have an enrolment of 1,000 students each.
Currently there are 3 second level schools in the Naas area - the all boys Naas CBS, St. Mary’s College (all girls) and the co-educational VEC-run Piper’s Hill College. Secondary students from Maynooth attend Maynooth Post Primary school.
A Department of Education spokesman told the Leader it is now up to the various patron bodies to make an application to run the school.
He added: “A decision as to whether an existing patron body will get the green light or whether Gaelcholaisti or Educate Together schools will open has not been made.”
Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn said there will be a particular emphasis on “parental demand for plurality and diversity of patronage” in the decision making process.
He also said that patron bodies making a proposal will be asked to provide evidence of a demand for a school.
Population growth in the area must support the need for a new school and any new school must not impact negatively on the enrolment of schools in the catchment area – other than the establishment of an all-Irish school.