Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (531)

Thomas Byrne


531. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of classes in prefabs at both primary and secondary level in September in each of the years 2014 to 2018; and the number of classes that will be prefabs in September 2019. [33211/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The number of classes accommodated in prefabricated units varies from year to year and is dependent on the organisation of class groups by individual schools within their available accommodation.

As at 30th June 2019, I can confirm to the Deputy that there are 471 schools renting interim accommodation, either temporary prefabricated classrooms or an area within an existing permanent building.

My Department is taking an integrated approach with the Prefab Replacement Programme through the replacement of prefabricated units as part of large-scale and devolved projects, or as part of new projects approved under the Additional Accommodation scheme. This integrated approach helps to streamline the delivery of projects for schools.

Under project Ireland 2040, the Department continues to make progress to increase the infrastructural capacity in the schools sector, in order to meet demographic and other demands. In 2018, capital expenditure for the school sector amounted to €547m.

It is anticipated that Construction activity in 2018 and 2019 will involve over 130 large-scale projects and circa. 280 smaller scale projects under the Additional Accommodation Scheme. These projects will deliver approx. 40,000 additional and replacement school places, the replacement of over 600 prefabs which is a key element of our prefab replacement programme. In addition, enhanced sports facilities will be provided through the construction/modernisation of 48 PE Halls at post-primary level and 82 General Purpose rooms at primary level. This will also support the provision of 200 modern science labs which will support the delivery of the reformed science curriculum and the roll-out of Computer Science as a leaving certificate subject.