Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Questions (91)

Ciara Conway


91. Deputy Ciara Conway asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide a full update on what efforts are being made to upgrade the accommodation at a school (details supplied) in County Waterford; if he has given due regard to the savings to his Department if a permanent building were put in place rather than the wasted expenditure incurred due to the current situation; when he expects this situation to be satisfactorily resolved and if he will provide an update on the matter. [35710/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

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 future significant demographic demands nationally, particularly in those areas where it has been identified that most demographic growth will be concentrated, will be the main focus for capital investment over the duration of the 5 Year Plan. As the school referred to by Deputy is in an area of Co Waterford that has not been identified as an area of significant demographic growth, the project for the school concerned was not included in the 5 Year Plan.

The school building project referred to by the Deputy is at an early stage of Architectural Planning. The school and its design team recently attended a Stage 2(a) Stakeholders meeting with the Planning & Building Unit of my Department. My Department recently conducted a survey of schools within the Tramore area to establish the demand for diversity and plurality in the area. In this regard, the Department is engaged in a process with the relevant school patrons regarding the arrangements to meet the outcome of the survey. My Department will be in further contact with the school regarding the status of its building project when this process has been advanced.