Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Ceisteanna (592, 593)

Joe Carey

Ceist:

715 Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Education and Science the number of devolved grants for the development of additional classrooms which were approved for schools in County Clare in the years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 in tabular form; the schools involved; the work completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12225/10]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Science)

The devolved scheme for the provision of additional classrooms allows those schools with an urgent and pressing need for additional accommodation which is likely to last for more than 3 years, and which are being given approval for grant aid, to avail of the option of using their grants either to purchase prefabs or to construct permanent classrooms for the same amount.

Funding is approved on a devolved basis for both options and it is then a matter for the schools to decide which option to pursue. Schools may claim the first portion of the grant when the building works commence, 70% of the cost of the project, subject to receipt of the necessary certification and the balance when the project is completed.

Due to industrial action on the part of some staff in the Department of Education and Science, I am not in a position to provide the detailed information sought by the Deputy.

Joe Carey

Ceist:

716 Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Education and Science the schools that qualify for consideration for a devolved grant for the provision of additional classrooms; the plans he has to change the qualifying criteria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12226/10]

Amharc ar fhreagra

It is open to any school needing extra classrooms to apply for devolved funding to meet their needs.

Generally, where a need for extra accommodation has been demonstrated and that need is likely to be for three years or less, approval will be given to rent the accommodation. Where the need for the accommodation is likely to exceed three years in duration, the Department will devolve funding to a school authority giving it the option to purchase or build the accommodation needed.

As a three year period has been identified as a break even point from a value for money perspective, my Department has no plans to change its approach in this matter.