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Education Minister: more school places needed in Galway City


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Education Minister: more school places needed in Galway City

From the Galway City Tribune – Minister for Education Norma Foley said extra secondary school places were needed in Galway City, following claims of hundreds of children on lengthy waiting lists.

Minister Foley said the provision of school places to meet the needs of children and young people at primary and post primary level was an “absolute priority” of the Department of Education.

She said Department officials are “aware of enrolment pressures and demand for additional school places in Galway City”.

Minister Foley said the pressures for school places in Galway City may not solely be related to a lack of schools or classrooms. It could be driven by several factors including duplication of applications, single sex schools with availability but not for all pupils, and pupils not being able to get into their preferred school, and pupils coming from outside the local area.

She was responding to a Parliamentary Question submitted by Fianna Fáil colleague, Galway West TD, Éamon Ó Cuív, who asked if she was aware of the long waiting lists for admission to second levels schools in Galway City for the 2023/24 academic year.

Senator Seán Kyne (FG) also recently raised this issue in Seanad Éireann.

He said that more than 850 children are on waiting lists to get into secondary schools in Galway City at the start of the new term in September.

This article first appeared in the print edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism by subscribing to the Galway City Tribune HERE. A one-year digital subscription costs just €89.00. The print edition is in shops every Friday.

Senator Kyne said duplication was not the issue; the lack of capacity was an immediate problem, and a solution needed to be found by the Department before September.

He told the Seanad there are waiting lists of up to 160 in Coláiste Mhuire Mháthair; 360 in Coláiste Éinde; 148 in Galway Educate Together Secondary School; 91 in Coláiste Iognáid (The Jes); and 99 in St. Joseph’s ‘The Bish’.

Minister Foley acknowledged there were “pressures” in response to Deputy Ó Cuív.

“Through close engagement with school patrons and authorities, my Department has established a requirement for additional school places in Galway City.

“Engagement is ongoing with schools and patrons with a view to making increased provision where necessary,” Minister Foley told the Dáil.

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