Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (204)

Michael Lowry

Question:

204. Deputy Michael Lowry asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason an application for additional accommodation for a school (details supplied) in County Tipperary was not considered; if he will immediately reconsider this application in view of the very cramped and unsafe conditions in the school at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14977/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I can confirm that an application for additional classroom accommodation was received from the school referred to by the Deputy on 7th February 2014.

Given the current financial constraints within which my Department is currently operating, priority is being given to applications for essential mainstream classroom accommodation in areas of significant demographic growth and where additional teaching staff has been allocated. This will continue to be the main focus for my Department in the coming years to ensure that every child has access to a physical school place.

The school in question was not allocated additional staff and my Department is therefore not in a position to provide additional classroom accommodation for the reasons outlined. The school has been advised accordingly.

With regard to the health and safety issues referenced in the details provided, the school received a Minor Works grant of €6,221 last November. It is open to the school to prioritise the works it wishes to undertake within the scope of the scheme and the works in question would meet the criteria for consideration under this grant.

Where schools have issues of an emergency nature, it is open to the schools to submit an application for funding to my Department under the Emergency Works Scheme. Details of the criteria associated with the scheme together with an application form may be accessed on my Department's website www.education.ie. My Department would request that a technical report and supporting evidence relating to the issues concerned and outlining the works required should accompany any submission.