Thursday, 15 February 2007

Ceisteanna (156, 157, 158)

Seán Ryan

Ceist:

157 Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Science the number of temporary classrooms which have been sanctioned by her Department to national schools under the rental of temporary accommodation scheme on a county basis for years 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006; and the cost for the rental in each of the years referred to. [5772/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Ryan

Ceist:

158 Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Science the number of temporary classrooms which have been sanctioned by her Department to post-primary schools under the rental of temporary accommodation scheme on a county basis for years 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006; and the cost for the rental in each of the years referred to. [5773/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Ryan

Ceist:

159 Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Science the schools and the number of classroom units within each school in the Dublin North constituency area that are currently availing of accommodation under the temporary accommodation scheme; and the average rental cost of each unit per annum. [5774/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Science)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 157 to 159, inclusive, together.

The information requested by the Deputy is not readily available. The demand for additional accommodation in schools has risen significantly over the last number of years mainly due to the rapid expansion in teacher numbers particularly in the area of special needs, the growth in the school-going population in rapidly developing areas and the demands to cater for diversity through the recognition of new Gaelscoileanna and Educate Together schools.

The provision of rented accommodation provides an immediate solution to a deficit of school accommodation, and is often the only available option where extra accommodation is needed at short notice.

However, the current focus within my Department is to empower schools to resolve their accommodation needs, wherever possible by way of permanent accommodation. In order to reduce the amount of temporary accommodation at primary level a new devolved initiative was launched in 2003. The purpose of this initiative is to allow schools to undertake a permanent solution to their classroom accommodation needs and to achieve the best value for money. Since the introduction of the devolved initiative over 200 schools have been allocated funding under this scheme.