Minister says Limerick schools applications system ‘working well’

Education Minister Norma Foley.

THE COMMON Application System (CAS) for allocating secondary school places in Limerick “works very well”, according to Education Minister Norma Foley.

Minister Foley made the remarks to the Limerick Post at the recent opening of the new Universal Display Corporation and PPG manufacturing plant in Shannon.

The CAS had come under fire in recent months when it emerged that 26 students were left without secondary school places in Limerick City because all city schools had met capacity.

Quoted in the Limerick Post at the time, local councillor Sarah Kiely said the system was “not fit for purpose”.

“After this issue was highlighted by the Limerick Post newspaper, I got a call from Thomond College telling me that they had been instructed by the Department of Education to place all 26 children in one classroom for the coming academic year,” Cllr Kiely said at the time.

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Speaking to the Limerick Post this week, Minister Foley claimed that there was in fact “an excess” of school places for children in Limerick.

“There is a common applications process and, in actual fact, it’s a process that works very well,” the Education Minister opined.

“It has flagged that there have been a number of additional needs made, and I want to commend the schools involved here because a number of them have come forward to provide additional accommodation.”

“It appears now that we’ll have an excess of places available in the region. I think that’s important and I think that’s a benefit. It points up to the rest of the country in terms of the beauty and the benefit of the common application process,” she said.

The Minister also pointed to the large investments that have been in education made in the region.

“There are very, very many, a whole myriad of substantial investments and building programmes here in terms of education. More than €40 million has come into the area in the past three years.”

“It’s an ambitious programme of development, but it’s testament to the great calibre of teaching and learning that happens in our schools,” she concluded.