FOUR new schools have been confirmed for Cork as part of a government plan to establish more than 40 primary and secondary institutions nationwide.
The plan is designed to meet the unprecedented demand for school places caused by the country’s population boom, with the number of school-going children increasing by 10% in the last six years alone.
While the majority of planned schools are in the Dublin area, Cork will see three new primary schools located in Glasheen/Pouladuff, Carrigaline, and Gurranabraher; and a new secondary school in Ballincollig.
All four schools are planned to be open by 2021, with the first — Glasheen/Pouladuff — open in September 2019 under current plans.
The Carrigaline primary school will have 16 classrooms under the current plan, with Gurranabraher and Glasheen/Pouladuff planned to have eight classrooms.
The new secondary school in Ballincollig, meanwhile, will cater for 600 students.
These figures are based on current projected needs but will ultimately be determined by patronage.
The ethos of the new schools will be determined through an online process to be run by the Department of Education.
Tánasite Simon Coveney welcomed the announcement as ‘good news for big cities and rural areas’.
“This is an investment in national education,” he said.
“We are seeing huge increases in the numbers going to primary schools.”
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed noted that the new schools will not affect those already announced under other schemes.
“If we want to be the best in Europe, we need to make sure that we are planning for future needs and providing state-of-the-art facilities for future generations,” Mr Creed said.
“In rapidly growing areas such as Ballincollig, new primary schools and new post-primary schools, together with large-scale projects such as school extensions and projects under the Additional Accommodation Scheme, will serve to meet education needs over the next four years across the country.”
Fine Gael Senator Colm Burke described the new schools as ‘vitally important’ for the areas in question.
“[It] is a major boost for the people in Gurranabraher and the north side of Cor city,” he said. “It is important that resources are put into education in this area and that nationally we continue to invest and deliver new education facilities to meet the needs of the growing population.”