Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Ceisteanna (27)

Enda Kenny

Ceist:

132 Deputy Enda Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding an application for funding for an autism unit for a school (details supplied) in County Mayo; if she will indicate that funding will be granted to this project and when she expects to be in a position to announce funding for this specific unit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3315/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education)

I can confirm to the Deputy that the school to which he refers applied to my Department in 2006 for additional accommodation to cater for an ASD Unit and other ancillary accommodation.

The application was assessed and a band rating of 1.2 was assigned to the project. This rating has been assigned because the project meets the criteria for such a rating set out in the published prioritisation criteria for major projects i.e. "the provision of specialist accommodation is urgently required for children with special needs such as autism, speech and language impairment, severe and profound intellectual impairment etc.".

The progression of all large scale building projects, including this project, from initial design stage through to construction phase will be considered in the context of the Department's multi-annual School Building and Modernisation Programme. However, in light of current competing demands on the capital budget of the Department, it is not possible to give an indicative timeframe for the progression of the project at this time.

In the meantime my Department is grant aiding the school for the rental of accommodation for the ASD Unit. In addition, €13,000 was approved in 2006 to equip the unit.