Tuesday, 24 February 2004
Dáil Eireann Debate
301. Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for Education and Science if his Department is carrying out a review of bus routes and changing school catchment areas for secondary schools in the County Clare area (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5925/04]
Minister for Education and Science (Mr. N. Dempsey): For the purposes of post-primary education provision, the country is divided into catchment areas, each of which has its own post-primary education centre. These areas were drawn up in the late 1960s in the context of the free education scheme. The catchment boundaries were determined following consultation with local educational interests and the intention was that certain primary schools would feed exclusively into each centre. A relatively small number of primary schools are shared between two or more centres.
The revision of catchment areas is addressed by my Department as the need arises. It is the practice in my Department to consult with local educational interests where any such adjustments are being contemplated. At present, my Department is not changing school catchment areas for the secondary school referred to by the Deputy. However, my Department will continue to monitor the provision of school transport under the terms of the school transport scheme.
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