Parents are key in deciding who runs nine new schools
Parents will be key to deciding who gets to run nine new post-primary schools opening next year and in 2018.
Acting Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan said parental demand was one of the key considerations in deciding on the patronage of the new schools.
Six of the schools are due to open in September 2017 in Carpenterstown/Castleknock, Dublin 15; Malahide/Portmarnock, Swords and Lucan, all Co Dublin; Limerick city and environs (south-west) and Portlaoise, Co Laois.
The remaining three schools are due to open the following September serving Limerick city and environs (east); Dublin south city centre and Firhouse, Dublin 24.
The nine new schools are needed to address the ongoing growth in pupil numbers arising from high birth rates since the late 1990s.
The focus of the school building programme is switching from primary to post-primary as the surge in enrolments is felt at second-level.
Post-primary enrolments currently stand at more than 340,000 and are expected to continue to rise until 2025, to more than 400,000 for the first time in the history of the State.
The patronage process is overseen by the New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG), which advises the minister, following its consideration of a report to be prepared by the Department of Education on the applications received.