Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Questions (222)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

222. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Education and Skills if works at a school (details supplied) are to recommence in the summer of 2020; if so, the accommodation which will be made for a créche located in the school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51767/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The Deputy will be aware that the school to which she refers is among 40 schools in which structural and fire safety issues have been identified. All of these schools are included in my Department’s Schools Remediation Programme.

Significant progress has been made on this Programme over the summer months. Permanent structural remediation work was carried out at 14 schools with similar work for 6 more schools advancing since the start of the new school year.

During the summer holidays also, planned detailed structural investigations were carried out in 17 schools, including the school in question, and this school was among 13 schools where temporary precautionary measures and other engineering solutions were put in place before the start of the new school year.

The bulk of the permanent structural remediation works for these 13 schools and others are being planned for delivery in 2020 and 2021. Details will to be communicated to all of the schools when my Department’s plans in this regard are further developed.

The arrangement for the crèche to use part of the school building referred to is a local private arrangement between the school authority and the crèche. The crèche itself is a private company. On that basis, it will be a matter for the company to make alternative accommodation arrangements when works are being carried out at the school. My Department will be giving the school authority as much notice as possible of the timetable for those works, so that it may, in turn keep the crèche provider informed.

Safety is the number one priority for pupils, staff, parents and others using the school buildings involved and this continues to be my Department’s focus under the Schools Remediation programme.