Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

14.25 22 Nov 2019


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The Education Minister says oversubscribed secondary schools that apply for extra temporary accommodation for September 2020 will have their applications looked at "very seriously".

It comes as parents in several parts of the country expressed concern on Newstalk Breakfast this week over their inability to secure a place at second level next year for their children.

Joe McHugh has announced an extension for Skerries Community College in Dublin has been moved forward amid particular concerns in that area.

However, he also said the department will work to ensure students are not left without a place.

Minister McHugh told Newstalk's Sean Defoe that they don't want students to be left without a place.

He said: "I don't have responsibility for deciding who has a place in the schools - that's the schools themselves.

"My job as a Minister for Education... [is] that no student or no young person should be left behind or excluded for the system.

"I've said here today that we will meet with the principals... and if they can put together an application for temporary solutions or provision, we will obviously look at that very seriously."

He explained: "My advice was to the school leaderships in these areas: get the applications in if they need temporary accommodation for 2020, and obviously they will be looked at because we don't want to leave people without a space.

"The reality is at a national level that the pressure that was on the primary sector in the last 15-20 years has now moved very much into the secondary sector."

Minister McHugh acknowledged the pressure on the system, but stressed that officials are aiming to address that.

He added: "We will continue to evaluate and to numerate the areas where there's going to be more planning permissions launched, and see where the demographic pressures are going to be."

Main image: Education Minister Joe McHugh. Photo: RollingNews.ie

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