Written Answers. - Multi-Denominational Schools.

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

188 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the fact that it costs approximately ?30,000 for an educate together school to initiate the process for a new school; the reasons there is no State support for this; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that this cost represents a serious obstacle to the opening of such schools; the steps he is taking to assist such schools in this initial phase; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19389/03]

Based on the recommendations of the Commission on School Accommodation I have put in place a streamlined procedure for recognition of new schools that cover all patron bodies, including Educate Together. I note the assertion that to initiate a new school may cost in the region of €30,000 and I am clearly surprised at this as the procedures in place are intended to facilitate the process. If details are provided on the basis for this costing, I will arrange for officials to examine the position and consult with all the patron bodies. I will then adjudicate on whether the state should support individual patron bodies in the primary school initiation process.