Written Answers. - Outdoor Education Centres.

Michael Finucane

Question:

148 Mr. Finucane asked the Minister for Education and Science the outdoor education centres operated by the vocational education committees. [8347/98]

At present, my Department recognises nine outdoor education centres, OECs, operated by vocational education committees for the purposes of funding. These are Garton OEC, County Donegal VEC; Achill OEC, County Mayo VEC; Petersburg OEC, County Galway VEC; Turlough OEC, County Clare VEC; Kilfinane OEC, County Limerick VEC; Cappanalea OEC, County Kerry VEC; Kinsale OEC, County Cork VEC; Ramsgrange OEC, County Wexford VEC and Birr OEC, County Offaly VEC.

No additional outdoor education centres have been recognised by my Department pending a complete review of the outdoor education centres generally. A group to review this matter was formed some time ago and its review is nearing completion at present.

There are four established outdoor education centres administered by vocational education committees seeking recognition at present. These are at Tanagh, County Monaghan, Lanesboro, County Longford, Baltinglass, County Wicklow and Newport, County Tipperary. In addition, County Sligo VEC has a proposal to develop a property as an outdoor education centre and County Cork VEC is seeking the recognition of Schull sailing centre as an outdoor education centre.

On receipt and consideration of the report of the review group, I will be in a position to consider the question of granting recognition to the unrecognised centres.