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Schools Building Projects.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 2 November 2005

Wednesday, 2 November 2005

Ceisteanna (440, 441)

Emmet Stagg

Ceist:

526 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason for the delay in providing funding to upgrade a school car park (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31473/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Science)

The school to which he refers has submitted an application for a new site entrance under the summer works scheme for 2006. The closing date for the receipt of such applications was the 14 October 2005. All applications are being assessed and a list of successful applicants will be published when the assessment procedure has been completed.

All primary schools receive an annual minor works grant from my Department. Each school gets a standard rate of €3,809 together with a per pupil rate of €12.70. It is open to the school management authority to use this devolved grant for the works in question provided it is not required for more urgent works.

Pat Breen

Ceist:

527 Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason a school (details supplied) in County Clare does not have a wheelchair accessible entrance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31483/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

In accordance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989 individual school authorities are responsible in the first instance for ensuring the safety and welfare of children and others in their care. Provision is built into the annual school building programme to enable schools to address urgent health and safety issues as identified by the school authority by way of an annual allocation, amounting to €3,809 plus €12.70 per pupil, under the devolved grant scheme for minor works. This allocation can be used entirely at the discretion of the school authority to address issues such as wheelchair access as required. Where schools are unable to address all issues arising on an incremental basis it is open to the school authority to apply for funding from my Department under the appropriate scheme, in this instance the summer works scheme. The closing date for receipt of applications for the 2006 summer works scheme was 14 October 2006. However, the school will have an opportunity to apply under next year's scheme should this be necessary.

The Department also sets aside a contingency sum each year to deal with emergency works in primary and post-primary schools, including health and safety works. If the school authority considers that wheelchair access is required as a matter of urgency to accommodate a particular pupil or staff member, then an application for funding should be submitted for consideration to my Department's school planning and building unit.

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