Office of Public Works Properties

Questions (105)

Barry Cowen

Question:

105. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the acreage in each local authority area owned by the Office of Public Works; the portion of the land that are heritage sites; the portion in use for public services; the portion that is vacant; the portion that is vacant and suitable for residential development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48002/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

The Office of Public Works (OPW) manages over 2,500 properties on behalf of the State which include office accommodation, heritage properties, visitor centres, Garda stations, warehouses and sundry others.

I am advised by the Commissioners of Public Works that some of the information sought by the Deputy is not readily available and is currently being collated as completely as possible. A detailed response will issue to the Deputy as soon as it is available.

Office of Public Works Properties

Questions (106, 107)

Barry Cowen

Question:

106. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the acreage of property owned by the OPW that has been transferred to local authorities for residential development in each year since 2015, by local authority in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48003/19]

View answer

Barry Cowen

Question:

107. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the OPW has undertaken an audit of its property portfolio to assess the number of properties that would be suitable for residential development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48004/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 106 and 107 together.

The role of the Commissioners of Public Works is to provide office accommodation for use by Government Departments and other State bodies. In addition, the Commissioners of Public Works, on behalf of the State, manage a diverse portfolio of heritage properties, visitor centres, Garda stations, former customs posts, former coastguard stations and sundry other properties located throughout the country. While the Commissioners of Public Works engage with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and local authorities where there may be surplus properties in our ownership that could be made available to them, the provision of social/affordable housing is not a function of the Commissioners.

In the past two years, the OPW has provided information on properties to the Department and, more recently, to the Land Development Agency, who assess those properties for suitability for residential use.

This engagement process identified a number of OPW-owned properties as being feasible for adaption for residential use. These include:

Properties transferred

Property

Transferred To

Use

8 residential units in Dublin City Centre

Dublin City Council

Peter McVerry Trust

Property at Clonard Road, Crumlin, Dublin

Dublin City Council (under Licence)

Family Hub

5 properties, Templemore, Tipperary

Tipperary County Council

Social Housing

Properties in process of transferring

Property

Transferring to

Former Garda residence, Buttevant

Cork County Council

Former Met Station, Kilkenny

Kilkenny County Council

3 acre site Thomastown Kilkenny

Kilkenny County Council

The following expressions of interest have been made to the OPW to acquire sites that are surplus to our requirements, for residential development –

Expressions of interest in property

Property

Expression of interest from

1 acre site Kill O The Grange

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

6.45 acre site Thurles

Tipperary County Council

1 acre site Crosshaven Cork

Cork County Council

The OPW actively manages its property portfolio on an ongoing basis. If a particular site or property is deemed to be surplus to requirement it is offered for transfer to public bodies such as the local authorities prior to any decision being taken on disposal. On the establishment of the Land Development Agency a full examination of OPW properties was completed to identify any that might be suitable for residential development. From that examination, the Land Development Agency only identified the Central Mental Hospital as a site suitable for residential development when the relocation of the Hospital by the HSE takes place.

Public Sector Pensions

Questions (108)

Michael McGrath

Question:

108. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to review the application of pension abatement for certain retired members of the Defence Forces that subsequently take up another role in the public service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48005/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

The principle of abatement of a public service pension is longstanding within the rules of various public service pension schemes. Abatement is an important aspect of the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012 (the Single Scheme Act). Section 52(1) to 52(5) provides for the abatement of a public service pension where a retired public servant, whose pension is in payment, is re-employed in the public service such that no more of the pension when combined with the remuneration in the new job shall exceed the pensionable remuneration of the old job.

Abatement policy remains a key component of the Single Scheme Act and addresses valid concerns about simultaneous payment of both pension and salary in the public service. Consistency in the application of abatement principles across the public service is also important to ensure that the policy is implemented. While the high level operation of abatement is monitored on an ongoing basis, there no current plans to review the application of overall pension abatement policy to specific sectors of the public service.

Departmental Data

Questions (109)

Shane Cassells

Question:

109. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of complaints of bullying and sexual harassment, respectively received by his Department in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form. [48042/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

In response to the Deputy's question, I wish to state that there have been no complaints of bullying and sexual harassment in respect of this Department in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019.

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (110)

Shane Cassells

Question:

110. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of employees of his Department that were dismissed in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date 2019; the reason for the dismissal of each employee; the number of employees suspended in the same period; and the reason for the suspension of each in tabular form. [48077/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

In response to the Deputy's question, I wish to state that there have been no dismissals in respect of this Department in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (111)

Barry Cowen

Question:

111. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 146 of 12 November 2019, the amount spent in his Department on the National Development Plan 2018-2027 and Project Ireland 2040 since February 2018 and November 2018 by category (details supplied) in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48114/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

Project Ireland 2040 is the Government's long-term, overarching strategy to make Ireland a better country for all its people, integrating, for the first time, the national spatial and investment strategies. The projects under these plans which include roads, schools, primary care centres, housing, sporting and cultural amenities and business activation facilities impact villages, towns, cities and regions across the length and breadth of Ireland.

Since taking responsibility for communications for Project Ireland 2040, €92,954.26 has been spent on public information measures including the launch of the first Annual Report. Measures included three 2-week tranches of transit advertising on public transport networks throughout Ireland, with the specific aim of empowering members of the public to find out what is happening under Project Ireland 2040 in their local area. During each phase, the material was displayed on the Red and Green Luas lines as well as approximately 500 Dublin Buses, 50 Irish Rail carriages and 100 Bus Shelters in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and nationwide. The material directed the audience to the public information website gov.ie/2040. That website has received more than 50,000 hits in the period.

The Annual Report contained in-depth information about what has happened under the plan and what is yet to come. It was launched in the Glucksman Library at the University of Limerick, one of the early projects supported by Project Ireland 2040 in the heart of Limerick, a key growth city under the plan.

Creative

Media-Buy

Printing

Annual Report Launch

€34,687.23

€46,401.72

€4,273.02

€7,592.31

Freedom of Information

Questions (112)

Barry Cowen

Question:

112. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the date of each review and revision of the material published under the publication scheme of his Department as outlined in section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48212/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

My Department's FOI Publication Scheme provides information about the operations of the Department in an open and accessible manner on a routine basis, in line with Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2014. The Scheme allows for the publication of information outside of FOI where the provision of information is not prohibited by law. My Department is proactive in publishing such material regularly, which is reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure new material is added as and when it becomes available. Suggestions for additional publications are encouraged and can be made by contacting my Department’s Corporate Office. Details of the material currently published by my Department in its FOI Publication Scheme can be found at the following link - https://www.gov.ie/en/organisation-information/60131b-foi-publication-scheme/

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (113)

Barry Cowen

Question:

113. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the amount spent on public relations, promotion and advertising, including multimedia, in his Department in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019 (details supplied) in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48251/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

The information requested by the Deputy in respect of my Department, as of 18th November 2019, is set out in the following table.

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

2016

2017

2018

2019

Public Relations

€5,417 *

-

-

€7,592

Promotions

-

-

€54,753

€27,158

Advertising

€4,220

€211,962

€101,205

€85,362

Office of Government Procurement

Public Relations

-

-

-

-

Promotions

-

€9,240

€26,171

€7,856

Advertising

€1,484

€49,764

€58,015

€7,355

* Expenditure in respect of the National Shared Services Office prior to its establishment as a Scheduled Office under the aegis of the Department on 1st January 2018.

Institutes of Technology Funding

Questions (114)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

114. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of steps to establish funding mechanisms for institutes of technology to support the development of their student accommodation capacity. [48104/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

Funding provided to the Institute of Technology (IoT) sector currently impacts on the General Government Borrowing (GGB).  Borrowing for capital development, including student accommodation, is included in the State’s balance sheet and therefore impacts on the Government’s available fiscal space.  The National Student Accommodation Strategy includes actions to explore, with the sector, an off-balance sheet solution to allow IoTs to access funding for the development of purpose built student accommodation.  The IoT sector is examining with the Department of Education and Skill and the assistance of the NDFA options to progress the provision of student accommodation for the technological sector on this basis.

School Transport

Questions (115)

Noel Grealish

Question:

115. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to increase the upper age limits for school bus drivers beyond 70 years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48111/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.

There are currently over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually.

It is Bus Éireann policy that the normal retirement age for all staff is currently 66 years.  Bus Éireann part-time school bus drivers and drivers nominated by private operators as school bus drivers may continue to perform this role, subject to completing an annual medical examination up to the retirement age of 70 years.

This criteria is applied to all drivers who provide services as part of the School transport scheme that is operated by Bus Éireann, on behalf of the Department of Education and skills.  As this age limit has been examined previously and the retirement age extended to 70 years, there are no plans to extend this limit further at this point in time.

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Questions (116)

Catherine Martin

Question:

116. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 251 of 5 November 2019, if he has explored the possibility of the provision of an ASD unit in the present location of the school in the event that the new school building is delayed due to planning appeals. [47876/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The school referred to by the Deputy is currently located in interim accommodation.

Subject to availability of accommodation, it is open to the school to establish a special classes within its existing accommodation.

In such circumstances, funding is available from my Department to re-configure existing spaces within the school building to accommodate the class.

School Accommodation Provision

Questions (117)

Pat Buckley

Question:

117. Deputy Pat Buckley asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to develop new primary and second- level schools in Midleton and east County Cork to respond to a growing population of primary school students and longer term projections in population growth for the future. [47882/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

In order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas and uses a Geographical Information System, using data from a range of sources, to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. With this information, my Department carries out nationwide demographic exercises to determine where additional school accommodation is needed at primary and post-primary level. For school planning purposes Midleton is located in the Midleton_Carrigtwohill school planning area.

Major new residential developments in a school planning area have the potential to alter demand in that area. In that regard, as part of the demographic exercises, my Department engages with each of the local authorities to obtain the up-to-date information on significant new residential development in each area.  This is necessary to ensure that schools infrastructure planning is keeping pace with demographic changes as there is a constantly evolving picture with planned new residential development.

Where demographic data indicates that additional provision is required, the delivery of such additional provision is dependent on the particular circumstances of each case and may, depending on the circumstances, be provided through either one, or a combination of, the following:

- Utilising existing unused capacity within a school or schools,

- Extending the capacity of a school or schools,

- Provision of a new school or schools.

As the Deputy will be aware, in April 2018 the Government announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022), including three new primary schools and one new post-primary school in Cork.

While the 2018 announcement did not include a new school for the Midleton_Carrigtwohill school planning area, 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 as outlined in Project Ireland 2040.

The following new schools were established in recent years in the Midleton_Carrigtwohill school planning area:

- Carrigtwohill Community College, a new 1,000 pupil post-primary school established in 2016 to serve the Midleton_Carrigtwohill school planning area; and

- Scoil Cliodhna Community National School, a new 16 classroom primary school established in 2015 to serve the Midleton_Carrigtwohill school planning area.

Under Project Ireland 2040, my Department continues to make progress to increase the infrastructural capacity in the schools sector, in order to meet demographic and other demands.

The Capital Programme details the school projects that are being progressed under Project Ireland 2040. I wish to advise the Deputy that the current status of large-scale projects being delivered under Project Ireland 2040 may be viewed on my Department's website, www.education.ie and this information is updated regularly. In addition, a list of large-scale projects completed from 2010 to date may also be viewed on the website.   

The Capital Programme also provides for devolved funding for additional classrooms, if required, for schools where an immediate enrolment need has been identified or where an additional teacher has been appointed. Details of schools listed on this programme can be found on my Department's website www.education.ie and this information is also updated regularly.

The building project for Carrigtwohill Campus is being delivered under the Department’s Design and Build Programme. This delivery programme uses a professional external Project Management team to progress the project through the stages of architectural planning, tendering and construction. 

An application for Planning Permission in respect of the works was submitted to the relevant Local Authority in July 2019.  A request for further information was received in August 2019.

The Department's Design and Build Project Management team are actively working on this Request for Further Information (RFI) and a response will be issued as soon as possible.

As with all school projects, the exact timeframe for delivery of the project will be dependent on the grant of planning permission.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (118)

Shane Cassells

Question:

118. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Education and Skills the amount spent on purchasing mobile telephones for staff within his Department for work-related business in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by grade; if his Department has a contract with a mobile telephone company (details supplied) to supply mobile telephones if needed; if so, the name of the company; the date on which the contract for the supply of mobile telephones to his Department is next due to expire; and the robust steps taken to ensure that the costs incurred on work related telephones are the best value for the taxpayer. [47919/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department’s current mobile phone contract was awarded to Vodafone Ireland, following a procurement process under the OGP Framework Agreement for the provision of Mobile Voice and Data Communications. This contract is due to expire in May 2022 subject to terms and conditions in this agreement.  The monthly tariff provides for all calls, texts and a limited data allowance. The standard mobile device is provided at no cost. Mobile phones are purchased, on an exceptional basis, for accessibility, functionality or specific business purposes that cannot be met effectively by the standard device.

Details of gross costs for mobile phone devices for the period 2016-2019 are set out below. The function, not the grade, of the Officer is the key determinant in the provision of phones.  Therefore, in this regard, grade related information is not readily available.

My Department’s policy on mobile telephony, both voice and data, sets out the relevant procedures and protocols that govern the use of mobile phones. This policy is acknowledged, and adherence to the terms and conditions governing usage is confirmed, by all subscribers. Charges arising are reviewed and must be approved. Where personal charges arise, these are recouped by the subscriber to the Department’s Vote.  

Mobile Phone Costs

2016 €2,375

2017 €3,400

2018 €5,095

2019 (to November) €1,215

Schools Building Projects

Questions (119)

Gino Kenny

Question:

119. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the difficult conditions under which staff and students are working and learning at a school (details supplied) in County Dublin; the steps he will take to move the school extension and refurbishment project beyond stage 2b as a matter of urgency especially in view of the recent withdrawal of the quantity surveyor and architect ; if assurances will be given that the necessary work will continue without delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47934/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I was delighted to visit Scoil Áine Naofa earlier this month and meet the principal and staff to discuss this building project.  

The major building project for the school referred to by the Deputy is part of a joint project. The project is at an advanced stage of architectural planning, Stage 2(b) Detailed Design which includes the application for Planning Permission, Fire Cert and Disability Access Cert and the preparation of tender documents.  All statutory approvals have been secured.

In June 2019, at a meeting with the schools, their design team and officials from my Department, discussions took place regarding the current conditions at the schools. My Department advised the schools to submit an application for consideration, for replacement/additional temporary accommodation required to address their current accommodation needs pending the delivery of the major school building project. 

At that meeting the consultant Design Team Quantity Surveyor advised that the company is withdrawing from the project.

In early October 2019, the Design Team Consultant Architect advised that it is forced to withdraw from the project as the firm has gone into liquidation. A tender process to replace both the design team Architect and Quantity Surveyor will commence shortly.

This project is included in the Department’s Construction Programme which is being delivered under the National Development Plan.

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (120)

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

120. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of staff in his Department by gender and pay grade in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47945/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the following tabular statement.

Staffing in the Department of Education and Skills: Breakdown by grade/gender

Administrative Staff

Grade

Male Headcount

Female Headcount

Total Headcount

Secretary General 

1

0

1

Assistant Secretary

5

4

9

Principal Officer

24

20

44

Assistant Principal Officer

42

68

110

Higher Executive Officer (incl. specialist HEOs)

72

107

179

Administrative Officer

4

4

8

Executive Officer

90

248

338

Clerical Officer

52

257

309

Temporary Clerical Officer

15

49

64

Inspectorate: Non-Administrative Staff

Chief Inspector

1

0

1

Deputy Chief Inspector

1

1

2

Assistant Chief Inspector

4

6

10

Senior Inspector

8

15

23

Post Primary Inspector

8

21

29

Divisional Inspector

12

15

27

District Inspector

3

21

24

Early Years Inspector

0

15

15

National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS): Non-Administrative Staff

Director of NEPS

0

1

1

Regional Director

1

6

7

Senior Psychologist

9

32

41

Psychologist

21

142

163

Other Non-Administrative Staff/ Professional and Technical staff

Technical Manager

2

1

3

Senior Quantity Surveyor

1

0

1

Quantity Surveyor

4

0

4

Senior Architect

5

1

6

Architect

4

3

7

Architectural Assistant

8

0

8

Engineer

3

0

3

Senior Statistician

0

1

1

Statistician

2

1

3

Solicitor

0

1

1

Legal Executive

1

0

1

Advisory Counsel

1

1

2

Accountant

5

4

9

Siolta Coordinator

0

1

1

Head Services Officer

1

0

1

Service Officers 

9

1

10

Supervisor of Cleaners 

0

1

1

Cleaners 

4

9

13

General Operative 

1

0

1

Telephonist

1

0

1

Civilian Driver

7

0

7

TOTAL

432

1057

1489

NOTE: Above figures exclude staff on long term leave and staff loaned/seconded out 

Ministerial Advisers Data

Questions (121)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

121. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the political advisers used by Ministers and Ministers of State in his Department since the commencement of this Government; the commencement and cessation dates in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47962/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The following tables give details of the special advisers appointed in my Department since the current Government came into office on the 14th June 2017.

Mr. Richard Bruton, T.D.

Minister for Education & Skills

14/6/17 to 16/10/2018

NAME

SERVICE

REASON

Patrick Cluskey

14/6/17 to 16/10/18

Transfer to Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment.

Conor Quinn

14/6/17 to 23/9/17

Redundancy/Severance

Sarah O’Neill

25/9/17 to 16/10/18

Transfer to the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment

Mr. Joe McHugh, T.D.

Minister for Education & Skills

17/10/18 to Present.

NAME

SERVICE

Mark O’Doherty

17/10/18 to Present

Ed Carty

17/10/18 to Present

Ms. Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D.

Minister of State.

NAME

SERVICE

Roy Dooney

14/6/17 to Present

Lynda McQuaid

25/7/17 to Present

Mr. John Halligan, T.D.

Minister of State

NAME

SERVICE

REASON

Michelle Clancy

21/6/17 to 18/5/19

Resignation

Anthony McFeely

29/5/19 to Present

 

Sick Pay Scheme

Questions (122)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

122. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a person (details supplied) will be cleared to return to teaching; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48000/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The provisions of the Sick Leave Scheme for Registered Teachers employed in Recognised Primary and Post Primary Schools are contained in my Department’s Circular Letter 0054/2019 which issued on 01 September 2019 and is published on my Department's website.

The granting of Sick Leave to a teacher who is ill is intended to provide an adequate opportunity for that teacher to recover from the illness and its’ effects so that he/she may make an early return to duty without a likelihood of a relapse into illness.

Employers have a duty under Section 8 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 to “ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of his or her employees”.  In order to discharge their management responsibilities effectively, it is essential that employers have access to professional occupational health advice on medical fitness for work. An Occupational Health Service (OHS) is in place to provide employers with occupational health advice in relation to teachers’ fitness for work. 

The teacher referred to by the Deputy is in permanent employment and is currently on paid sick leave.  His employer has made a referral to the OHS for an independent medical assessment on the teachers’ fitness for work in accordance with the terms of the Sick leave Scheme. 

School Transport Eligibility

Questions (123)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

123. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if students that cannot obtain a placement in a post-primary school (details supplied) in County Kerry will be made eligible for school transport to the next nearest post-primary school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48019/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.

There are currently over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually. The purpose of the scheme is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who reside remote from their nearest school. 

In general children are eligible for school transport if they meet the distance criteria and are attending their nearest school. 

Children who are eligible for school transport and who complete the application process on time are accommodated on school transport services where such services are in operation.  Children who are not eligible for school transport, but who complete the application process on time, are considered for spare seats that may exist after eligible children have been facilitated; such seats are referred to as concessionary seats. Where the number of applications from ineligible children exceeds the number of spare seats available, tickets are allocated using an agreed selection process. 

In cases where the Department is satisfied that the nearest school is full, eligibility for school transport will be determined based on the distance that children reside from their next nearest school having regard to ethos and language.  If a family has further information in regard to the closest school being full they should contact School Transport Section of my Department. Further information in this regard is available on my Department's website www.education.ie.

School Accommodation

Questions (124)

Barry Cowen

Question:

124. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a school (details supplied) will receive funding. [48022/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department is currently reviewing the long term accommodation needs of the school in question.

The National Development Plan (NDP) provides for an €8.4 billion investment in school buildings over the period 2018 to 2027 to deliver on NDP and National Planning Framework objectives through addressing the twin priorities of catering for demographics and ensuring a strengthened focus on refurbishment of existing school stock. This investment will result in an almost doubling of the capital budget for school buildings - €540m in 2018 rising to an annual average of circa. €1 billion in the second half of the NDP period.