OFFALY towns Birr and Edenderry are among the 38 towns and areas around the country which are part of Department of Education Survey to find out what kind of primary school parents want for their children.
While the State provides for free primary education, schools are established by patron bodies who define the ethos of the school and appoint the board of management to run the school on a day to day basis.
The vast majority (96%) of primary schools in Ireland are owned and under the patronage of religious denominations and approximately 90% of these schools are owned and under the patronage of the Catholic Church.
The intention of the survey is to identify the level of demand from parents/guardians for a wider choice of school type in areas where that choice is currently limited. The responses of parents/guardians will be used to consider what changes, if any, could be made to widen the choice of primary schools in these areas.
In Birr there are four schools within the town boundary (three Catholic, one Church of Ireland) and two more within 5kms which are both run under the Catholic ethos.
The patron bodies who have expressed an interest in operating a divested school in Birr are An Foras Pátrúnachta (Multidenominational), Educate Together and Offaly VEC.
In Edenderry there are five schools within the town boundary (four Catholic, one Church of Ireland) and two more within 5kms which are both run under the Catholic ethos. One of the Catholic schools in Edenderry is a Gaelscoil.
The same three patron bodies, patron bodies An Foras Pátrúnachta (Multidenominational), Educate Together and Offaly VEC have also expressed an interest in operating a divested school in Edenderry.
Roscrea is also included in the survey and it currently has four schools (three Catholic, one Church of Ireland) within the town boundary. Within a 5km radius there are three more schools, two of which are Catholic while the other is and Interdenominational Gaelscoil.
Parents of pupils between 0 and 12 and who live in the relevant areas can complete the survey online on the Department of Education website by clicking here