Minister says Limerick children will not be left without school places

Education Minister Norma Foley.

EDUCATION Minister Norma Foley had told the Dáil that provision will be made for the 26 Limerick pupils who did not receive an offer of a secondary school place for the next academic year.

She said that local secondary school principals are “confident that the 26 cases will be provided for in terms of students accepting or refusing cases going forward”.

“There will be a provision for those 26 places in the existing accommodation but, if not, there is capacity to provide it,” she added.

Under the Common Application System (CAS), all secondary schools in Limerick City, Croom, and Pallaskenry make their offers together, with offers made to students for the schools on Wednesday.

However, 26 students were informed this morning that they were not offered a place in any of 17 schools participating in the CAS, of which four are all-boy and four are all-girl schools

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The issue was raised in the Dáil by Limerick Green Party TD Brian Leddin, who acknowledged the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB) and the Department of Education’s efforts to resolve the issue.

He also asked Minister Foley to outline plans for new schools in Limerick City with an expected large growth in Limerick’s population over the coming years.

The Minister said that the projected population increase in Limerick is being considered in the context of school places “with a view to identifying any further accommodation solutions to meet the capacity requirements”.

“I do want to underline that considerable investment has actually gone into Limerick city,” she said, adding there are currently 32 school projects underway in the area.

“And the Department will continue to work to advance the plans and current projects in Limerick City,” she added.

According to the Department of Education, there were 70 students set to be rejected last week but schools increased available places by 44, bringing the total number of additional places to more than 100.

The Department said it is currently working on a contingency solution so that no child goes without a place in school in Limerick this year and that there will be further clarity in the coming weeks.