Written Answers. - County Kildare School's Enrolment Policy.

Emmet Stagg

Question:

71 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Education if she will consider withdrawing her letter of 17 September 1987 (details supplied) in which she takes responsibility for and gives instructions on the enrolment policy for that school and other schools in the area to facilitate negotiations at present under way and arrive at an acceptable solution to the present dispute concerning enrolment for 1990-91 at these schools; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

197 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education if the letter from an official of her Department dated 17 September 1987 (details supplied) to the chairman of the board of management, Scoil Mochua, Celbridge, County Kildare, presents an obstacle to the resolution of the current difficulties regarding the school's enrolment policy; if she will reconsider the case as a matter of urgency to encourage discussions which might lead to an amicable settlement; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

I propose to take Questions Nos. 71 and 197 together.

In pursuance of my Department's policy that new accommodation will not be provided where it is evident that sufficient suitable accommodation is available in existing schools within a reasonable distance, the letter referred to by the Deputies was issued by my Department in 1987. As the Deputies will appreciate, any change in this policy which would involve my Department duplicating existing school facilities at a time of scarce national resources would not be acceptable.