Acting Education Minister invites applications for patronage of nine new secondary schools

Jan O'Sullivan says the "issue of diversity" will be a factor in the decision-making process

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Jan O'Sullivan. Image:

The Acting Education Minister is inviting applications for the patronage of nine new post-primary schools which are due to open in September 2017 and 2018.

Those due to open in September 2017 are in Carpenterstown and Castleknock; Lucan; Malahide and Portmarnock; and Swords - all in Co Dublin.

The other two schools are due to open in Limerick City (south-west) and Portlaoise.

Three more will open the following year - in Limerick City (east), Dublin South City Centre and Firhouse, Dublin 24.

Educate Together has said it is gathering expressions of interest from parents in the areas, saying the new schools "could be the answer to the quandary in which many parents find themselves when choosing a second-level school for their child".

Other possible patrons are likely to include churches and ETBs (Education and Training Boards).

Acting Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan spoke to Newstalk Breakfast about the application process, saying a decision will be made in September by the new Education Minister.

"The parents will be the one who will predominantly make that decision - though it will be the final decision of the minister, parental choice will be the crucial factor in all of this," she explained.

"The issue of diversity will be a factor - if there is already a particular type of school in an area and there isn't another type of school, then that will be weighted into [the decision] as well," she added.