Catholic education sector is continuing to grow

Catholic education sector is continuing to grow

The number of children attending Catholic primary schools in Ireland is increasing according to the latest Department of Education enrolment data.

Almost 2,600 additional denominational primary school places were created this year compared to last which represents an increase of 0.5%. Similarly, there was a 0.8% rise in the number of students attending denominational post primary schools.

The data also revealed that the demand for more multi-denominational school places is growing, with a rise of 9% at primary level and 20.3% at post level.

Commenting on the figures, Seamus Mulconry, the General Secretary of the Catholic Primary School Management Association, told The Irish Catholic: “All schools are gaining numbers because we are experiencing a demographic bubble.

Lower base

“Multi-denominational schools are gaining more numbers but they’re coming from a lower base”, he said. For example, just 5.4% of primary schools are now multi-denominational, compared to 96% that are religious.

Mulconry added that these figures are “no surprise” to him and that we shouldn’t be focusing on whether one side is gaining from the other, but instead be concentrating our efforts on supplying enough resources for the growing number of people in education.

The statistics “indicate that the real challenge is to make sure that all schools have enough resources for all everyone,” he said.