Belfast Telegraph

Islamic foundation among patrons considered for post-primary school role

The six new schools are to be built by September 2020.

Education Minister Joe McHugh has asked parents to give their views on patronage for six new schools being established next year (PA)
Education Minister Joe McHugh has asked parents to give their views on patronage for six new schools being established next year (PA)

By Cate McCurry, PA

The Islamic Foundation of Ireland is among a number of patron bodies being considered for a new post-primary school as part of the reform of school patronage.

Parents and guardians are being urged to give their views on the patronage of six new post-primary schools to be established next year.

The schools are to be built by September 2020.

The six new schools are being set up to meet the demand from growing populations in parts of Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow.

Parents and guardians of children who are due to enrol in post-primary school from 2020-2024 in these areas are being asked to complete the online survey.

The wishes of parents and guardians, together with the extent of diversity already available in these areas, will be key to deciding the type of schools we will have in the future Education Minister Joe McHugh

The new schools are being established as part of the Government’s investment in educational diversity as more than 90% of State-funded primary schools in Ireland have a Catholic ethos.

The government plans to build 44 new schools between 2019 and 2022.

Joe McHugh, Minister for Education and Skills, said the six new post-primary schools will be in areas including Blanchardstown, Goatstown, Clonskeagh and Harold’s Cross in Dublin as well as Enfield/Kilcock in Kildare/Meath and Kilcoole/Greystones.

The Islamic Foundation of Ireland has applied for patronage in the Blanchardstown area as well as Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board, Educate Together and Scoil Sinead Limited.

Parents and guardians can use the online survey to select which model of patronage they prefer and whether they would prefer English or Irish as the language of instruction.

Mr McHugh said: “We are fortunate to have a growing population and a Government that is investing heavily in new schools.

“But we need parents’ support to ensure we reflect the views of families in the areas where we have younger and growing populations.

“It is a great opportunity for mothers and fathers and guardians to help to shape the education of the future.

“The wishes of parents and guardians, together with the extent of diversity already available in these areas, will be key to deciding the type of schools we will have in the future.

“I urge as many people as possible who live in the areas and have children going to post-primary in the next few years to make their voices heard.”

The patronage process for new schools is overseen by the independent New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG).

The group, which was set up in 2011 to advise the minister on the patronage of new schools, will analyse the report on the online surveys and consider other criteria before issuing a recommendation.

The online survey for parents can be accessed at patronage.education.gov.ie

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