Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Questions (438)

Dan Neville

Question:

499 Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Education and Science when funding under the dormant accounts education disadvantage and rapid leverage fund will be considered for a school (details supplied) in County Limerick. [16616/07]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

The closing date for receipt of applications under the Dormant Accounts / RAPID Leverage Fund Small Scale Capital Grants Scheme for schools was 1st March. The scheme covers the improvement of existing facilities (‘non new-builds') and the development of new facilities (‘new-builds') in four areas: (i) Outdoor Play Facilities; (ii) Libraries; (iii) Parent Rooms; and (iv) Dining Areas. Schools were asked to list their proposals under the four areas in terms of priorities from 1 to 4.

The scheme was very heavily over-subscribed in terms of numbers of applications and the amount of funding sought by applicants. This has meant that the original time-frame for the assessment of applications has been somewhat delayed and there is insufficient funding to cover these applications. As a result, a phased approach to applications is being implemented which divides the assessment of proposals into ‘new-builds' and ‘non new-builds'; this approach was notified on 14th June to the schools which applied under the scheme.

Phase 1 of this process involved an assessment of all ‘new-build' and ‘non new-build' applications for Outdoor Play Facilities which were identified by the schools as either Priority 1, 2 or 3 — lower priorities are not being assessed because there is insufficient funding available. Subject to Government approval being received shortly on the basis of these assessments, the Department should be in a position to advise schools about the success of their applications for Outdoor Play Facilities within the next two weeks.

All proposals in respect of Libraries, Parent Rooms and Dining Areas involving ‘new-builds' will be considered for funding under the Schools Building and Modernisation Programme. The assessment and approval of the ‘non new-build' proposals for Libraries, Parent Rooms and Dining Areas is currently in progress and schools will be notified about their applications in due course.

In relation to the school referred to by the Deputy, it should be noted that the school applied for the following under the scheme:

Dining Room (New build): €175,000 — Priority 1 (plus Catering Equipment €5000)

Library facilities (New Build): €175,000 — Priority 2

Parent Room (New Build): €150,000 — Priority 3

Outdoor Play Areas (New Build): €20,000 — Priority 4