Thursday, 26 February 2004

Questions (121, 122, 123, 124)

Eamon Gilmore

Question:

120 Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Education and Science , further to Parliamentary Question No. 422 of 27 January 2004, the progress which has been made regarding the provision of a CABAS school in Shankill, County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6455/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

I am most anxious that all children, including children with autistic spectrum disorders, receive education appropriate to their needs.

There are seven facilities in the State operating on a pilot-project basis and using alternative educational methods for teaching children on the autistic spectrum. Three of the seven are CABAS facilities, whose teaching method involves a comprehensive application of behaviour analysis to schooling approach. I wish to confirm that my Department is prepared to continue to provide funding for the three CABAS facilities for the next school year, 2004-05.

My Department will, in due course, consider the reports of the inspectorate on autism-specific provisions and any issues arising therefrom will be raised directly with the relevant managements. The position regarding the future of the CABAS facilities beyond 2004-05 will be considered in the context of this process.

My Department is actively considering applications from CABAS, Dublin, for autistic provision in south County Dublin. My officials are liaising with my Department's inspectorate and the National Educational Psychological Service, NEPS, in this regard. A response will issue to the applicants as quickly as possible.

Gerard Murphy

Question:

121 Mr. Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will issue a statement clarifying when his Department will be providing the necessary finances to provide appropriate accommodation for Liscarroll national school, County Cork. [6456/04]

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I am pleased to advise the Deputy that a one classroom extension, GP room and ancillary accommodation for Liscarroll national school, County Cork, is listed for proceeding to tender and construction as part of the 2004 school building programme. The tendering process will commence shortly and the school authorities will be kept advised of developments.

Gerard Murphy

Question:

122 Mr. Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Science when the sanctioning of the proposed new works for Lismire national school, Kanturk, County Cork will begin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6457/04]

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An application for grant-aid towards improvement works has been received from the management authorities of Lismire national school.

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, 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.

Gerard Murphy

Question:

123 Mr. Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will reconsider the application for a new school for Aghinagh, Macroom, County Cork. [6458/04]

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My Department will be in contact with the school authorities in the near future with a view to progressing this project.