Planned new Kildare school deferred says Department of Education

A number of reasons for deferral of Naas and other schools

Henry Bauress

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Henry Bauress

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henry.bauress@leinsterleader.ie

Planned new Kildare school deferred says Department of Education

Work to continue on progressing new Naas school

Progress on the opening of a new school in Naas has been deferred from 2021, according to the Department of Education.

On November 12, Minister for Education, Norma Foley, invited school patron bodies/prospective school patron bodies to apply for the patronage of new primary schools to be established in September 2021.

The Department said that there would be new eight classroom schools established next year in three places, Donaghmede, Dublin 2 and  Sallynoggin.

But it also said that schools at Naas, Bray, Clondalkin, Gurranbraher in Cork city and one Kilkenny city will not go ahead next year.

The Department said the planning and preparation work will continue in the interim on advancing these schools’ accommodation, including Naas

It said the deferrals arise from a range of factors, primarily that planned additional residential development in the form of Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) developments has not yet materialised at the levels expected back in 2018.

Another reason is that there is capacity in existing schools in/adjacent to the area which is considered sufficient to cater for demographic demand in 2021. It is not necessary for the schools to start in 2021. 

It said planning and preparation will continue in relation to sites and buildings for these schools in alignment with the delivery of housing in the areas concerned.

Minister Foley said these are uncertain times in many ways for school communities. But the patronage process for Dublin schools will now proceed so that they can open next September. 

The Minister said that the post-primary patronage process currently underway has shown that parents and patrons are engaging with the process, albeit in unusual circumstances. “It is important that the patronage process for the primary schools which are to open in 2021 is also conducted in as normal a fashion as possible, with patrons being given the opportunity to apply to run the new schools, and parents given the opportunity to express their preference on the choice of patron.”

Last Thursday's invitation follows on from the announcement since 2018 of the establishment of 47 new schools to cater for demographic growth over the four-year period from 2019 to 2022.

The Department said it has recently completed the first step of an updated review of demographics at primary level, having regard to updated information on demographics and additional residential development. As a result the Naas school and others were deferred.

The Department said planning and preparation work will continue in the interim on advancing the above schools’ accommodation.