Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (272)

John Paul Phelan

Question:

272. Deputy John Paul Phelan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding the proposal to amalgamate schools (details supplied) in County Kilkenny and the progress made towards a new joint school building; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30368/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I can confirm for the Deputy that the schools to which he refers have sought my Department's approval to amalgamate. The proposal states that a new school building would be required to facilitate an amalgamation. The application is currently being assessed and a decision will be conveyed to the management of the schools in due course.

The Deputy will be aware that my Department's over-riding objective is to ensure that every child has access to a physical school place and that our school system is in a position to cope with increasing pupil numbers. To ensure that this is achieved, the delivery of major school projects to meet significant demographic demands nationally will be the main focus for capital investment in schools in the coming years. The 5 Year Construction Plan that I announced in March 2012 is focused on meeting this demand.

Amalgamations that may have major capital implications can only be considered within the context of my Department's capital budget and the challenges facing my Department in meeting national demographic demands.