I thank the Minister of State for taking this important matter in relation to Glasnevin Educate Together. The Minister of State will, no doubt, be aware the school was established almost ten years ago in 2002 in the Glasnevin area. Like many schools formed throughout the country it has not been given recognition or a school building. The school is in limbo in that the Department has not granted it recognition despite it having an enrolment of 230 pupils, representing Ireland and 20 other countries. Some 768 pre-enrolled children are anxious to attend the school yet for almost a decade the Government has not seen fit to give it recognition or to address its accommodation needs.
Currently, the school is largely accommodated in portacabins which are old, dark, cramped, ant infested, too hot in the summer and cold and damp in the winter. These are not satisfactory conditions for children to be taught in. Unfortunately, there are too many similar situations. I know the Minister and Minister of State are concerned about the number of schools they have inherited in such conditions. This is particularly true of gaelscoileanna and Educate Together schools. There appears to be a reluctance on the part of the Department of Education and Skills to grant these schools recognition and to address their accommodation needs.
It would be worthwhile for the Minister to compile a database of all schools in this situation. This would provide a pattern countrywide which would allow the Minister to address this issue. I am sure the Minister and Minister of State have access to all that information. Glasnevin Educate Together has been awaiting recognition for some time. Accommodation at the school is unsuitable and substandard for children to be taught in this day and age. In any day and age these conditions would be considered substandard. There is a huge waiting list to attend this school. The Department has been sitting on its hands in relation to this matter. I urge the Minister of State to take on board what I and Glasnevin Educate Together have been saying on a continuing basis to the Department, grant the school formal recognition and commence construction of a permanent new school for the children of Glasnevin and surrounding areas.