Two new primary schools will open in Leixlip and Maynooth
Two new primary schools will open next year in Leixlip and Maynooth as part of 13 new primary schools due to open in 2019.
The largest patron of Irish-medium schools in the country, An Foras Pátrúnachta (AFP) has today announced that it intends to apply for the patronage of 13 new primary schools due to open in 2019.
The new schools were confirmed by the Department of Education and Skills earlier this year.
Two of the primary schools to open in 2019 will be in Kildare, with eight in Dublin and one each in Wicklow, Meath and Cork. The process for awarding patronage of these schools will be confirmed by the Department of Education and Skills in the coming weeks and is based around parental demand and provision of choice.
The announcement by AFP today was made at an event to mark the launch of its Gaelscoil4All campaign which aims to ensure all children in Ireland have the option to attend a gaelscoil.
Speaking at the campaign launch, General Secretary of An Foras Pátrúnachta, Caoimhín Ó hEaghra said: “The demand for places in Gaelscoileanna continues to grow at a rapid rate with many of our schools oversubscribed. We hear regularly from parents who wish they could send their child to an Irish-medium school but don’t have that option available to them, and that demand is backed by national research. It is fitting that we’re launching this campaign during Bliain na Gaeilge, the year-long, State-supported programme to celebrate 125 years of the revival of the Irish language. In line with this programme, AFP’s vision is to provide all children with the opportunity to access Irish-medium education of the highest quality. In order to do this, we need more schools.”
An Foras Pátrúnachta is currently the patron for over 70 schools in 22 counties across Ireland. It was established to provide choice for parents, recognising the rights of parents to enrol their children in a school with a spiritual ethos that reflects their beliefs. From its inception, AFP has provided parents with this choice by establishing schools of differing spiritual ethos such as multi-denominational, inter-denominational or Catholic.
Mr Ó hEaghra added: “AFP is committed to providing choice for parents who want Irish-medium education with their preferred ethos. Our schools are equality-based, diverse and welcoming of all pupils regardless of their socio-economic background, religious beliefs or ethnicity. We support our schools in providing excellent education, and in creating and fostering an Irish-speaking community. The particular talents of individual pupils are recognised, nurtured and developed through the continuous work and support provided by our teaching staff. This is reflected in the excellent academic achievements of students in AFP schools."
The campaign will also have support from Gaeloideachas, the member organisation for Irish-medium and Gaeltacht schools, who provide support and advocacy on behalf of school communities.
Information for parents interested in a new gaelscoil for their area can be found on the campaign website, www.Gaelscoil4All.ie, along with answers to parents’ most frequently asked questions about gaelscoileanna, and further information on how the patronage of the 13 new schools will be determined.