Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Ceisteanna (165, 166, 167)

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

241 Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the new housing developments that have considerably increased the population of Gorey, County Wexford; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that this is likely to continue as many more housing developments are under way in the area; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that the Loreto primary school, Gorey, County Wexford, does not have the capacity to accommodate additional pupils and will have to refuse enrolment to many newly arrived families with schoolchildren; the steps his Department is taking to ensure that all children residing in Gorey town can avail of primary education in their immediate locality; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3622/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Science)

The school planning section of my Department is examining educational provision at primary level in the Gorey area. Factors under consideration include population growth, demographic trends, current and projected enrolments, recent and planned housing developments and the capacity of existing schools to meet the demand for places. When the examination is completed, a decision will be taken on how best to meet the accommodation needs of the area into the future.

With regard to the Loreto primary school specifically, five temporary classrooms were recently provided to meet the schools short-term needs. In addition, a proposed extension for the school is scheduled to move into the advanced stages of architectural planning in 2004. The timing of when the project can progress to tender and construction is dependent on the financial allocation for 2005 and subsequent years, the rate of progress of existing projects in architectural planning and the priority afforded to each project by reference to the published criteria for prioritising large-scale building projects. In the meantime, it is open to the management authority of the school to apply for further temporary accommodation to meet any newly emerging needs.

Paul Connaughton

Ceist:

242 Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Education and Science the plans he has to fund a two classroom extension to Craughwell national school, County Galway; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the only departmental funding that appears to be available to the management board is €70,000 in lieu of the cost of a prefabricated building sanctioned but not purchased; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that the cost of the two classrooms is likely to be more than €200,000; and if he will make available funding in 2004 to allow the school authorities to commence building the badly needed extension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3623/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Paul Connaughton

Ceist:

253 Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the €70,000 grant that has been made available to Craughwell national school, County Galway, is inadequate to build on the two classrooms that are now necessary to provide proper accommodation for the number of children attending the school; if extra funding will be provided during 2004 to enable the school authorities to begin work that is so urgently required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3688/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

I propose to take Questions Nos. 242 and 253 together.

The management authorities of Craughwell national school were allocated a grant of €70,000 in July 2003 for the provision of a temporary classroom. The school authorities have indicated the wish to build a permanent classroom and my Department has no objections to this proposal. An application for a second classroom is currently being considered by my Department's school planning section and my Department will be in contact with the school management authorities as soon as possible.