Trim parents are being invited to express their views on what patrons they would like to see running local primary schools.
From today, parents of pre-school and primary school children in Trim are being asked to complete a surveys stating their preferences for the type of school they would like their children to attend.
The survey is available on-line at www.education.ie until 9th November.
Earlier this year, the Advisory Group to the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector made recommendations to Education Minister Ruairí Quinn on the divesting of patronage where there is a stable population and a demand for diversity of school types.
Following on from these recommendations, the Minister has commenced a new process to examine the possibility of transferring some schools to other patron bodies in 44 areas around the country. Trim is one of five areas in the pilot phase of the survey.
The intention of the survey is to find out if parents would prefer a wider choice of school patron than is currently available to them. The responses of parents will be used to decide what changes, if any, should be made to widen the availability of other types of primary school in these locations.
Minister Ruairi Quinn said: "I am urging all eligible Trim parents to make sure that their voices are heard by taking part in these surveys. This is a historic opportunity for parents to re-shape the primary school landscape for generations to come."
If the surveys identify demand for alternative patronage in these areas, the Department will explore with the existing patrons the transfer of patronage of schools.
The survey is available at: www.education.ie and all eligible parents or guardians are asked to complete it on-line by 9th November. Parents or guardians are advised to have their PPS number to hand when accessing the on-line survey as this will be requested for validation purposes.
A free helpline is available in the Department for anyone who has any difficulties in completing the survey: 1800 303621. The helpline will be open from 9.30 to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
If parents cannot access the online survey, a paper based version can be requested by ringing the freephone number 1800 303621.