Wednesday, 28 January 2004

Questions (121, 122)

Cecilia Keaveney

Question:

233 Cecilia Keaveney asked the Minister for Education and Science his plans for progressing site acquisition this year for schools not currently on the building programme such as those mentioned in previous parliamentary questions (details supplied). [2339/04]

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Cecilia Keaveney

Question:

246 Cecilia Keaveney asked the Minister for Education and Science, further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 167 of 25 November 2003 and 246 of 16 December 2003, the position regarding a school (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2414/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 233 and 246 together.

When publishing the 2004 school building programme, I outlined that my strategy going forward will be grounded in capital investment based on multi-annual allocations. My officials are reviewing all projects which were not authorised to proceed to construction as part of the 2004 school building programme, including projects requiring the acquisition of a site, with a view to including them as part of a multi-annual school building programme from 2005 and I expect to be in a position to make further announcements on this matter in the course of the year. The schools mentioned by the Deputy, involving site acquisition, will be considered in this regard.

In regard specifically to the school referred to in Parliamentary Question No. 246, the position remains that before committing major capital funding to any project, my Department must be satisfied, having regard to all relevant factors including enrolment and demographic trends, that the school in question has a viable future thereby ensuring value for money. A number of issues remain to be explored and when these are fully investigated, a decision will be made on how best to provide for the school's long-term accommodation needs. My Department's officials are in contact with the school authorities in this regard.