The Department of Education appears to have reversed a decision to restrict enrolment at five multi-denominational primary schools to just 13 junior infant children, or half a class, per year.

After a meeting with patron body Educate Together today, the department says it has agreed to "facilitate the development" of the schools, but "within the constraints of available accommodation."

It is as yet unclear how many children the schools will be allowed to enrol this coming September.

A joint statement issued after the meeting said that a detailed response to the case submitted by Educate Together would be issued by the department next week.

The schools, in Tramore, Trim, New Ross, Castlebar and Tuam, have been instructed to offer school places for next September to just 13 junior infants.

The department had said the decision was taken to protect enrolment numbers in other primary schools in the towns.

The five schools were established to provide diversity of provision in towns where existing primary school provision was church-run.

All of the Educate Together schools said they have waiting lists to justify the enrolment of a full class, which amounts to 26 children.