Education Minister approves four new Irish-medium schools
Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane has conditionally approved the establishment of four new grant-aided Irish-medium primary schools.
The schools are Gaelscoil an tSeanchaí, Magherafelt; Gaelscoil na mBeann, Kilkeel; Gaelscoil Léim an Mhadaidh, Limavady and Gaelscoil Choin Rí Uladh, Ballymena. The proposed opening date for all schools is
1 September 2010 or as soon as possible thereafter.
The Minister said: "Demand from parents for Irish-medium education for their children has been growing for many years and the proposals for these new schools reflect that demand.
"The Department of Education has a statutory duty to encourage and facilitate the development of Irish-medium education. I am therefore giving these four new schools conditional approval because I believe they will ensure that the choice of primary education through the medium of Irish is available to a growing number of children.
“Recurrent funding for all four schools will be conditional on the schools achieving the required admissions threshold. Any future capital funding will also be conditional on the schools being vested by the Department of Education when the schools have proven their long-term viability.
“Schools will also be required to put in place robust measures to ensure adequate leadership and governance arrangements in co-operation with statutory bodies.
“I wish the schools every success in the future in delivering a quality education for its pupils through the medium of Irish.”
The proposals for all four schools have been supported by Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta, who have noted the increasing demand for Irish-medium education in the areas and the potential to support new or existing post-primary provision. These developments are part of the strategic plan to develop sustainable Irish-medium schools in larger catchment areas.