Written Answers. - Schools Refurbishment.

Seán Crowe

Question:

145 Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of the principal, staff and parents of children attending Bishop Galvin and Bishop Shanahan's national schools, Orwell Park, Templeogue, Dublin 6W, regarding the fact that these schools are 25 years old and in great need of major refurbishment; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that the school is in need of a learning support and special needs resource teachers, both teachers to be shared between both schools; and if he will consider the possible implications the current poor condition of the schools could have on the health and safety of the children and staff and the way in which the lack of a learning support and special needs resource teachers could impact on the education of these children. [15138/02]

My Department has recently provided grant aid towards the refurbishment of the toilet facilities at Bishop Galvin national school, Templeogue.

Architectural planning for major refurbishment works at Bishop Galvin and Bishop Shanahan national schools is at an early stage. Decisions on projects proceeding to tender and construction are taken in the light of the annual allocation for primary school buildings, the financial commitments to be met and the priority to be afforded to individual projects. An extensive building programme for 2002 has already been approved and published. It is not envisaged that the proposed refurbishment works at Bishop Galvin and Bishop Shanahan national schools will proceed in 2002.

Later this year when a financial allocation has been made for the primary school building programme in the 2003 estimates I will be framing a further comprehensive programme of works that will proceed to construction and the schools con cerned will be considered for inclusion in that programme.
It is my intention to bring greater transparency to the operation of the school building programme and I intend to publish the programme annually. I am also anxious to build a multi-annual dimension into the published programme so that schools will have an indication of the expected timelines relating to their project. I am aware of applications from both schools for additional learning support and resource teaching hours. The needs of the schools in question will be taken fully into account in the event of additional learning support teacher posts becoming available for distribution. Sanction of additional resource hours is given routinely, on application, for the needs of professionally assessed children.

Seán Crowe

Question:

146 Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of the board of management, staff and parents of children attending Scoil Chaitlin Maude, Cnoc Mhuire, Tamhlacht, Baila Atha Cliath 24, in that after 17 years the school is still operating rented accommodation despite the fact that there is statistical evidence that there will be a crisis in accommodation in the near future; and if he has considered the possible implications this overcrowding will have on the health and safety of the children in this school and the possible implications on the education of children already being educated in a Department of Education and Science designated area. [15139/02]

The authorities of three schools located on the same site which includes Scoil Chaitlin Maude have applied to my Department for grant aid towards the provision of security measures, an extension to the car park and replacement windows.

Tender documentation is currently being prepared to have windows and doors replaced at all three schools and architectural planning is at an early stage for the remaining works. My Department has an extensive primary school building programme under way at present and this includes a large number of projects at various stages of architectural planning.

Decisions on additional projects proceeding to architectural planning are taken in the light of the annual allocation for capital projects, the financial commitments to be met and the priority to be afforded to individual projects. The programme for 2002 is in place and the schools concerned have been notified.

Later this year when a financial allocation has been made for the primary school building programme in the 2003 estimates I will be framing a further comprehensive programme of works and this will involve putting more projects into architectural planning. My Department would be prepared to consider an application from the auth orities Scoil Chaitlin Maude for grant aid towards additional accommodation at that time. It is my intention to bring greater transparency to the operation of the school building programme and I intend to publish the programme annually. I am also anxious to build a multi-annual dimension into the published programme so that schools will have an indication of the expected timelines relating to their project.