Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (387)

Thomas Byrne

Question:

387. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the progress on the completion of 42 new schools announced in April 2018, in tabular form. [13749/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

As the Deputy is aware, in April 2018, the Government announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next 4 years (2019 to 2022), 26 schools at primary level and 16 at post-primary level. This announcement followed nationwide demographic exercises carried out by my Department into the current and future need for primary and post-primary school places across the country.

The patronage process for the new schools (primary and post-primary) to be established in 2019 is complete and the patronage process for the new schools to be established in 2020 will commence later this year.

The current focus for the Department is to prioritise the 17 schools opening in September 2019 so that accommodation solutions are put in place as soon as possible. In this regard, my Department has appointed a Project Manager to assist in the procurement of interim school accommodation for the schools opening in September 2019 and these schools will open in suitable interim accommodation.

The announcement in April 2018 provides a better lead in period for planning and delivering accommodation solutions for the schools that are due to be established from September 2020 onwards.

Where required, site acquisition processes in respect of permanent locations for the schools are currently underway. Significant progress has been made in this respect to date and my officials continue to work to deliver permanent site solutions as expeditiously as possible.

Further updates will be provided on my Department’s website at the end of March in the context of the regular updates on the current status of large-scale building projects. In addition, my Department will provide update to the Joint Committee on Education and Skills in May 2019.