Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - School Sites Acquisition.

35.

asked the Minister for Education if he will make arrangements whereby the acquisition and payment for sites for primary schools will become his responsibility as the present position is becoming an intolerable burden for school managers particularly in areas of rapid expansion.

National schools are State-aided schools, not State schools. The vast majority of the schools are vested in local trustees.

The acquisition of a site for a new school is a matter for the school manager and the regulations governing national schools do not permit of the making of a grant towards the cost of the site. I do not propose to alter the existing arrangements in this regard.

Does the Parliamentary Secretary not accept that there is a great urgency about the need for changing these regulations? A school manager can now find himself in the position where he is asked for £100,000 for a site while there is no possibility of getting this sum in an area of rapid development where the people are put to the pin of their collar to meet outgoings on their own houses, not to talk of contributing to schools? Does he not see that this is a very serious problem?

I am not aware of a case where a figure of that kind has been sought. When it comes to fixing the local contribution the actual cost of the site is taken into account as part of the local contribution, as the Deputy knows.

I appreciate that, but does the Parliamentary Secretary not also accept that a school manager cannot go to the Department of Education with a proposition to build a school until he has clear title to a site and that he cannot get clear title to a site until he hands out something in the region of £100,000 in the areas surrounding Dublin?

I do not think it is anything like——

I can give specific cases to the Parliamentary Secretary.