Written Answers. - Area Based Partnerships.

Richard Bruton

Question:

95 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Education and Science the commitment he will give to extend funding to the partnership companies in the education field beyond 1999. [19844/98]

The area based partnerships are funded at present as part of the EU aided Operational Programme for Local Urban and Rural Development 1994-99 co-ordinated by the Department of Tourism, Sport and Recreation. The continued operation of the partnerships after the current round of EU Structural Funds and their scope and function will be influenced by emerging developments generally regarding both the negotiations for the new round of EU funding and a greater integration between the local Government and the local development systems. I am committed to the promotion of an integrated area-based approach to addressing educational disadvantage, and to the enhancement of links between education providers and community, youth, welfare, employer and training interests. My Department will continue to work closely with local development interests in the future to achieve the objective of integrated area planning and a strengthening of home, school and community links.