Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Questions (183)

Mary Wallace

Question:

263 Ms M. Wallace asked the Minister for Education and Science the plans his Department has to deal with the increase in the primary school pupil numbers in the east Meath coastline area for 2004; if his Department inspector has provided a report to the planning unit of his Department outlining that there will be 240 junior infants between Julianstown, Laytown and Donacarney for September 2004; the plans his Department has to provide accommodation on time for these junior infants; the location of the various proposals for accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6747/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

As I recently announced, over the remainder of this school year a new school planning model involving published area development plans will be piloted in five areas. Included in the pilot scheme is the south Louth and mid-Meath region which covers the area referred to by the Deputy.

The purpose of this new approach to school planning is to ensure that, in future, the provision of school infrastructure will be decided only after a transparent consultation process. In this regard, parents, trustees, sponsors of prospective new schools and all interested parties from a locality will have the opportunity to have their voices heard in the process. Following the consultation process, individual plans will set out the blueprint for schools' development in an area covering a period of up to ten years.