EDUCATE Together is bidding to become the patron of six new secondary schools – and has said it has the backing of more than 6,000 parents.
The patron body said that demand in north Wicklow was particularly strong, with more than a third of its support from parents coming from this area alone.
It is vying to run new multi-denominational secondary schools in north Co Wicklow, Carrigaline and Midleton/Carrig- twohill in Co Cork, Celbridge in Co Kildare, and Balbriggan and Ballinteer in Co Dublin.
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn invited patron bodies to apply to become patrons of eight new post-primary schools which are due to open in 2015 and 2016.
The other two areas earmarked for new schools are Kingswood in Tallaght and Kingscourt in Co Cavan.
The deadline for lodging patron applications was last week and the department said it would shortly release details of the applications it had received.
However, Educate Together yesterday announced that, after assessing local demand, it wanted to become the patron for six of the eight new schools.
Chief executive Paul Rowe said: "We are delighted with the growing demand for our new model-of second level school."