Fianna Fáil’s Education Spokesperson, Thomas Byrne has said that the announcement of patronage arrangements for schools in North Dublin, Wicklow, Galway and Drogheda needs to be followed up with enhanced resources for patron bodies such as Educate Together.

Deputy Byrne added: “Patrons such as Educate Together will provide a greater array of ethos options for parents and students.

“However, this is only one of a number of steps that parents want to see progress on. Today’s announcement must be followed up with details on the permanent sites and buildings for these schools and proper supports for Educate Together.

“Without additional supports, parents and local communities will be forced to continue to do the heavy lifting to deliver these schools.

“The Government needs to match its rhetoric around diversity in education with supports for those delivering education on the ground. Educate Together must now be given the supports it needs to ensure that the quality of these new schools meets its requirements.

“A voluntary body such as Educate Together cannot possibly be expected to meet the administrative costs of opening new schools. It has been expected to do this in the past.

“Additionally, Fianna Fáil is seeking clarity on the status of the rest of the schools that were announced earlier this year by the then Minister, Richard Bruton which he said were due to open next September also. We want to see delivery and progress on these schools as quickly as possible,” concluded Byrne.