Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Questions (732)

Eamon Gilmore

Question:

732. Deputy Eamon Gilmore asked the Minister for Education and Skills if planning permission is needed to run a crèche and-or afterschool facility in a school; the requirements for running such a facility; the factors to be taken into consideration when making a decision; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14820/15]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The vast majority of primary school buildings in the country are in private ownership. How schools in private ownership use part of an existing school building for alternative use during the school day is set out in the Constitution of Boards and Rules of Procedure 2011. Section 18 draws attention to Circular Letter Prim 16/05 issued to all Boards of Management in respect of the Sharing of School Facilities with the Community. The purpose of this circular was to urge Trustees and Boards of Management to give serious consideration to such requests where possible. In urging and encouraging the Trustees and Boards to respond sensitively to this need, the Department fully appreciates that the decision ultimately lies with the relevant Board or Trustees and that the first priority at all times should be the interest of the school, its teachers and pupils. While the use of a school premises during the school day, for purposes other than regular school business must have my prior approval, in practice my Department is not always informed of such proposals. School Authorities must, in any event, comply with current building and planning regulations.

Any private or community crèche must be registered with the Child and Family Agency and compliant with the 2006 Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No 2) Regulations. These Regulations come under the auspices of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs as will the eventual Regulation of out of school or school aged childcare.