Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (223)

Charlie McConalogue


223. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will re-examine the application for summer works funding from a school (details supplied) in view of the fact that the windows are a health and safety risk and urgently need replacing; if the school will receive funding for these works immediately under the 2014 SWS scheme or another funding programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24320/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I can confirm that the school referred to by the Deputy submitted an application relating to window replacement under the 2014 Summer Works Scheme.

The Deputy will be aware that I recently announced details of the schools that will receive Summer Works Scheme funding in 2014 in respect of applications submitted for Categories 1 to 6 i.e. Gas, Electrical, Mechanical, Toilet Facilities and Roof Works projects. In total, I have approved the spending of more than €70 million on the Summer Works Scheme to allow over 770 schools undertake improvement works during the summer months.

Commensurate with the level of funding set aside for the Scheme, applications were assessed on a top down basis in accordance with the prioritisation criteria outlined in the Circular accompanying the Scheme. Unfortunately, due to the scale of demand for funding under the Scheme, it was not possible to grant aid all applications including those received for windows. However, in accordance with the Scheme's Circular, the school's application will be retained and will be prioritised for consideration under further rounds of the Summer Works Scheme in the future, subject to availability of funding. I regret that there is no other funding stream available for window replacement.

However, it is open to the school authorities to submit an application for Emergency Works funding should they deem the works required to be of a particularly urgent nature. In regard to the consideration of an Emergency Works application, the school authorities must be advised that the main purpose of the Emergency Works Scheme is to ensure the availability of funding for urgent works to those schools that are most in need of resources as a result of an emergency situation.

An emergency is a situation which poses an immediate risk to health, life, property or the environment, which is sudden, unforeseen and requires immediate action and in the case of a school, if not corrected, would prevent the school or part thereof from opening. Details of the Scheme, together with an application form for grant assistance, can be accessed on my Department's website at www.education.ie.