Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Ceisteanna (317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324)

Jimmy Deenihan

Ceist:

423 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Education and Science his position regarding the provision of an extension to Kilconley national school, Ballybunion, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1308/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Science)

My Department has received an application for improved accommodation at Kilconley national school, Ballybunion, County Kerry.

Progress on this application will depend on the development plan for the north Kerry area resulting from the new model for school planning, which I announced earlier this year. The new school planning model will be piloted in five areas, one of which includes Ballybunion, over the remainder of the school year, with development plans being drawn up for these areas. My main objective is to ensure that all relevant parties have a say and that the process is open and public.

The Commission on School Accommodation will conduct the public engagement and all submissions made to the commission by interested parties will be published. The commission will then draw up a draft development plan for the area, against which, following acceptance by the Minister, the planning and building unit will assess all applications for capital investment.

A decision on the application from Kilconley national school will be made in the context of the development plan for the north Kerry area.

The provision of essential mainstream classroom accommodation, over and above the current complement of mainstream permanent classrooms, takes priority in the publication of the 2004 school building programme. All projects that are not going to construction as part of the 2004 school building programme are being reviewed with a view to including them as part of a multi-annual building programme from 2005 onwards. I expect to be in a position to make a further announcement on this matter during 2004.

Jimmy Deenihan

Ceist:

424 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Education and Science his position regarding the provision of an extension to Nano Nagle Special School, Listowel, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1309/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The proposed large-scale building project for Nano Nagle national school is listed in Section 8 of the 2004 school building programme which is published on my Department's website at www.education.ie. This proposed project is at stage 2-3, outline sketch scheme-developed sketch scheme of architectural planning. It has been assigned a "band 1" rating by my Department in accordance with the published criteria for prioritising large-scale projects.

The proposed project will be authorised to progress to advanced architectural planning during 2004. Indicative timescales have been included for large-scale projects proceeding to tender in 2004. The budget announcement regarding multi-annual capital envelopes will enable me to adopt a multi-annual framework for the school building programme which in turn will give greater clarity regarding projects that are not progressing in this year's programme. I will make a further announcement in that regard during the year.

Jimmy Deenihan

Ceist:

425 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Education and Science his position regarding the provision of a new school at Blennerville, Tralee, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1310/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The board of management of Blennerville national school applied to my Department for a new school in 1999. Following examination of the application it was agreed that accommodation should be provided for a six-teacher school.

A subsequent technical inspection of the existing school and site was carried out and a recommendation was made that a new school on a green field site should be provided. The Office of Public Works, which acts on behalf of my Department in the procurement of sites is actively engaged in this matter and I am sure that the Deputy will appreciate that due to commercial sensitivity I am unable to give further information on the site purchase at this time.

Jimmy Deenihan

Ceist:

426 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Education and Science his position regarding the provision of a new school, at Listellick, Tralee, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1311/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The board of management of Listellick national school has applied to my Department for additional accommodation. Following examination of the application it is agreed that accommodation should be provided for a principal plus 12 mainstream teachers with scope for the provision of four additional classrooms if, required as a result of planned housing developments. The site requirements to facilitate this development will shortly be finalised and my officials will be in contact with the board of management in this regard.

Jimmy Deenihan

Ceist:

427 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Education and Science his position regarding the provision of a new primary school at Ballybunion, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1312/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

I take it that the Deputy is referring to a new school to accommodate the proposed amalgamation of St. Joseph's primary school and Ballybunion boys' national school.

Agreement has been reached to amalgamate St. Joseph's primary school and Ballybunion boys' national school. It is considered that the long-term accommodation needs of the amalgamated school will be for eight mainstream classes and ancillary accommodation. Under the 2004 school building programme, projects, which involve the provision of accommodation, which is absolutely necessary to facilitate agreed amalgamations, are accorded a band 1 rating.

Progress on this project will depend on the development plan for the north Kerry area resulting from the new model for school planning, which I announced earlier this year. The new school planning model will be piloted in five areas, one of which includes Ballybunion, over the remainder of the school year, with development plans being drawn up for these areas. My main objective is to ensure that all relevant parties have a say and that the process is open and public. The Commission on School Accommodation will conduct the public engagement and all submissions made to the commission by interested parties will be published. The commission will then draw up a draft development plan for the area, against which, following acceptance by the Minister, the planning and building unit will assess all applications for capital investment. A decision on the new school project for Ballybunion will be made in the context of the development plan for the north Kerry area.

Jimmy Deenihan

Ceist:

428 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Education and Science his position regarding the provision of an extension to Ballybunion Convent secondary school, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1313/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

I take it that the Deputy is referring to St. Joseph's secondary school, Ballybunion. Progress on this project will depend on the development plan for the north Kerry area resulting from the new model for school planning, which I announced earlier this year. The new school planning model will be piloted in five areas, one of which includes Ballybunion, over the remainder of the school year, with development plans being drawn up for these areas. My main objective is to ensure that all relevant parties have a say and that the process is open and public. The Commission on School Accommodation will conduct the public engagement and all submissions made to the commission by interested parties will be published. The commission will then draw up a draft development plan for the area, against which, following acceptance by the Minister, the planning and building unit will assess all applications for capital investment. A decision on the application from St. Joseph's secondary school will be made in the context of the development plan for the north Kerry area.

Jimmy Deenihan

Ceist:

429 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Education and Science his position regarding the provision of additional accommodation at Dromclough national school, Listowel, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1314/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

An application for additional accommodation at Dromclough national school was received in my Department in January 2003.

Progress on this application will depend on the development plan for the north Kerry area resulting from the new model for school planning, which I announced earlier this year. The new school planning model will be piloted in five areas, one of which includes Listowel, over the remainder of the school year, with development plans being drawn up for these areas. My main objective is to ensure that all relevant parties have a say and that the process is open and public. The Commission on School Accommodation will conduct the public engagement and all submissions made to the commission by interested parties will be published. The commission will then draw up a draft development plan for the area, against which, following acceptance by the Minister, the planning and building unit will assess all applications for capital investment. A decision on the application from Dromclough national school will be made in the context of the development plan for the north Kerry area.

Question No. 430 answered with QuestionNo. 374.

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

431 Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for Education and Science the position on the building project for Christian Brothers primary school, New Ross, County Wexford, in particular a timeframe for the various stages of this project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1333/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

An application for grant aid towards improvement works has been received from the management authority of the Christian Brothers primary school, New Ross. The application is currently being examined in the school planning section of my Department. As soon as this examination is completed, a decision on the matter will issue to the school authority together with an indicative timeframe for the delivery of any identified accommodation deficits.