Thursday, 17 October 2019

Questions (16)

Bríd Smith

Question:

16. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills the details of the planned programme for school building for 2020; if the capital spending programme will meet the demands expected in primary, secondary and third levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42577/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

Under Budget 2020, the allocation for my Department's School Buildings programme is broadly in line with the allocation for 2019.  In 2019 the allocation was €622m. The allocation envisaged for 2020 is €620m.

The allocation for schools will support circa 60 new school building projects going to construction in 2020 delivering in excess of 30,000 school places (permanent additional and replacement places).  This is in addition to in excess of 40 existing projects which are currently in construction and being progressed through 2020 delivering up to 25,000 school places.

I intend to make an announcement later in 2019 in relation to the details of the Summer Works Scheme programme for 2020.

The annual Minor Works Grant is paid to primary schools in either December or January of each year.  I intend to make an announcement later this year in relation to the precise payment date for the 2019/20 school year.

In relation to demands, my Department carries out nationwide demographic exercises to determine where additional school accommodation is needed at primary and post-primary level. 

The requirement for new schools will be kept under on-going review and in particular will have regard for the increased rollout of housing provision.

The Higher Education capital allocation in 2020 will support infrastructure investments to expand student places and upgrade existing infrastructure.  It is projected that at least 12 higher education building projects will be under construction in 2020 with support from the Department, with other projects moving through design and planning.