Thursday 19 September 2019

Minister changes rules to ensure more all-Irish schools set up

Education minister Joe McHugh. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Education minister Joe McHugh. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Education Minister Joe McHugh has amended the rules on setting up new primary schools to ensure five of 13 being established over the next couple of years will be Gaelscoileanna.

Mr McHugh has pre-determined that the language of instruction in five new schools to be opened in the Greater Dublin Area will be Irish. It followed an analysis of the availability of Gaelscoileanna in a number of areas.

He said the measure was part of a framework being developed to provide more opportunities to increase the provision of Irish-medium education through new schools and by expanding existing Gaelscoileanna.

Decisions on the language of instruction and choice of school patron is normally decided after a survey of parents, but Irish-medium schools have felt the outcomes haven't adequately reflected demand for Gaelscoileanna.

In two key changes, Mr McHugh has decided that if a new primary school is being established in an area where there is no existing Irish-­medium provision, or where there is more than one new school to be established up to 2022, it will be designated as a Gaelscoil before the patronage process system opens.

The five schools will serve areas of growing populations in Donabate and Saggart/Citywest (both 2020); Donaghmede/Howth/Dublin 13 and Dublin 2/4 (both 2021); and Sallynoggin/Killiney, Cherrywood (in 2020 or 2022).

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News