Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Questions (107)

Kathleen Funchion


107. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a school (details supplied) has been notified that it must close its doors completely and vacate its temporary site on 31 January 2020 and a company has instructed that no extension of this date should be granted; if his attention has been further drawn to the unnecessary stress this is causing parents, children and teachers at the school in view of the fact that no information has been provided to date regarding alternative arrangements while the site in question is under construction; his plans to ensure that the alternative provided does not break up the school and that the fabric of the classes, including the pupils and teachers, will remain as they are in order to avoid further stress and disruption; the options being considered for the school once circumstances change on 31 January 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22591/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The permanent site acquisition process for the school to which the Deputy refers is now complete.

A planning application for the permanent accommodation for the school was lodged in January 2019. A request for additional information received from the local authority was responded to on 26 April 2019 and a decision is awaited. Following receipt of planning permission the project will proceed to tender.

Provided no issues arise it is envisaged that the permanent accommodation will be completed in September 2020.

In relation to the need for the schools interim accommodation to move from its current location in February 2020 I can advise the following.

The school's interim accommodation is located on a privately owned site. The Landlord had required my Department to confirm that the school would vacate the property at the end of January 2020.

I am happy to announce that on Monday 27 May the Landlord contacted my Department to advise that they have carried out a review of the business plan and strategy for the site and are now agreeable to extend the Lease termination date from the 31 January 2020 to the 30 June 2020, so there is no longer a need for the school to move to alternative interim accommodation in January 2020.

I have already outlined the position in relation to the permanent accommodation for the school and the matter will be kept under review.

My Department is in regular contact with and holds monthly meetings with the school's Patron Body Educate Together in relation to this and a number of other projects under their remit and will continue to keep the school's Patron Body fully informed of progress.