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The Number of School Places Allocated to Local Schools

11 November 2021


Please find below the response by the Minister for Education to the question I raised in the Dail on behalf of parents, children and school administrators:

For Written Answer on : 10/11/2021
Question Number(s): 140 Question Reference(s): 54925/21
Department: Education
Asked by: Ged Nash T.D.


To ask the Minister for Education the number of first and second level school places allocated to schools (details supplied) for the 2021-2022 school year; if she is satisfied that there is sufficient second level first year places available in the Drogheda and east County Meath area; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) Ballymakenny College, Ballymakenny Road, Drogheda. Our Lady’s College, Greenhills, Drogheda. St. Joseph’s CBS Secondary School, Drogheda. St. Oliver’s Community College, Rathmullen Road, Drogheda. Sacred Heart School, Sunnyside, Drogheda . St. Mary’s Diocesan School, Beamore Road, Drogheda . Drogheda Grammar School, Mornington Road, Drogheda, Co. Meath. Drogheda Educate Together Secondary School, Mill Road, Drogheda, Co. Meath. Colaiste na hInse, Laytown, Co. Meath.


REPLY from the Minister for Education
"In order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas and uses a Geographical Information System, using data from a range of sources, to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. With this information, the Department carries out nationwide demographic exercises to determine where additional school accommodation is needed at primary and post-primary level. While enrolment returns in respect of the current school year are still being finalised with schools, my Department is aware of increasing pressures and demand for additional post-primary school places in a number of areas.

Where capacity issues arise it may not be as a result of lack of accommodation but may be driven by the following factors:

  • Duplication of applications – pupils have applied for a place to a number of schools      in the area
  • School of choice – pupils can’t get a place in their preferred school while there      are places in other schools in the town/area
  • Some towns/areas have single sex schools and while places are available in the      school they are not available to all pupils
  • External draw – pupils coming from outside the local area 

As the Deputy may be aware, my Department has the following major building works planned to assist in the process of providing additional second level places for 2021 in the Laytown and Drogheda school planning areas:

  • Drogheda ETSS (RN 68348A) will provide for 1,000 pupils
  • Franciscan College Gormanstown, Meath (RN 64420I) will expand to cater 1000 pupils

There are also a number of other schools in the area that have devolved capital projects and details of these are available on my Department’s website, . These include:

  • St Oliver’s Community College, Drogheda will expand to cater for 1500 pupils
  • St Marys Diocesan School, Drogheda will expand to cater for 750 pupils
  • Colaiste na hInse, County Meath will expand to cater for 1300 pupils
  • St. Josephs CSS, Drogheda has an application in the final stages of assessment following which a decision will be conveyed directly to the School Authorities.

The true extent of any capacity issues will only become known following discussion with the relevant school authorities. Similar to the process adopted in advance of the current academic year, my Department is engaging with patron bodies, including in the area in question, to identify particular capacity requirements for the forthcoming year which will inform possible further action to that already planned."