Written Answers. - Schools Building Projects.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

167 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the current and future needs in respect of buildings and facilities at Scoil An Linbh Iosa, Prosperous, Naas, County Kildare; if his attention has further been drawn to the school's programme for autistic children; if he will make available the necessary funding to ensure the early implementation of this programme and the provision of the full extent of all facilities required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15187/02]

Architectural planning for a building project at Scoil an Linbh Íosa, Prosperous, County Kildare, is at an advanced 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 building project at Scoil An Linbh Íosa, Prosperous, County Kildare, will proceed to construction in 2002.

Later this year, when a financial allocation has been made for the primary school building programme in the 2003 estimates, I will frame a further comprehensive programme of works that will proceed to construction and the school concerned will be one of those 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 the school's programme for children with autism. Any funding requests received by my Department will be considered and a decision conveyed to the applicant subsequently.