Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Ceisteanna (115)

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

115. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans for improving the facilities at the Gaelscoileanna in Lucan and Palmerstown by providing funding for schools to provide classrooms for their pupils in place of the existing prefabs. [11581/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí ó Béal (1 píosaí cainte) (Ceist ar Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy, that while there are no Gaelscoileanna in Palmerstown, my Department provided a new 16-classroom school for a Gaelscoil in Lucan in 2012. This is in addition to the existing 16-classroom Gaelscoil in Lucan.

As the Deputy is aware, my Department's over-riding objective is to ensure that every child has access to a physical school place and that our school system is in a position to cope with increasing pupil numbers. This must remain our priority. However, my Department will continue to provide improved accommodation in our schools within the funding available. In the case of schools with purchased prefab accommodation, which is in urgent need of repair, it is open to such schools to utilise their capitation grants or minor works grant in the case of primary schools to undertake such repairs. Where prefabs have significant structural issues, it is open to the schools to submit an application to my Department for the replacement of such prefabs and each application will be considered on a case by case basis within the funding available. My Department would request that a technical report and supporting evidence relating to the condition of the prefabs and outlining the works required should accompany any submission.

Due to constraints on available funding imposed by the need to provide additional accommodation to meet demographic growth, my Department will deal with applications from schools for devolved funding for the replacement of purchased prefabs on a case by case basis in the context of available funding and the immediate accommodation needs of the school.

Question No. 116 answered with Question No. 114.