Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Ceisteanna (102, 103, 104)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

102. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills when details of the summer works scheme will be announced; if all categories up to and including category ten will be eligible under the new scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3428/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

103. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills if applications deemed to be category ten under the most recent summer works scheme will be given further consideration with a view to approval of grant aid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3429/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

104. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills if grant aid is available towards the provision of essential playground facilities at primary schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3430/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 102 to 104, inclusive, together.

I wish to advise the Deputy that the Summer Works Scheme (SWS) is designed to allow schools, on a devolved funding basis, to carry out necessary improvement and refurbishment works that will upgrade existing school facilities. Under the 2016-2017, almost €117 million has been approved to date under the Summer Works Scheme, in respect of over 940 school projects in categories 1 - 9. Details of the successful school applicants are published on my Department's website www.education.ie

With regard to the remaining applications under Category 10, which relate to external works such as upgrading and resurfacing of playgrounds and car parking, these applications require more detailed analysis. It is intended to undertake this analysis shortly with a view to enabling approved applications to proceed in 2020.

The recent launch of Project Ireland 2040 included an announcement of a major package of investment in education for the next decade with the school building budget increasing by 70%. This investment will provide for the continued increase in demographics while also allowing for a greater focus on refurbishment and upgrading of existing school stock. In this regard, I wish to advise the Deputy that I am committed to a new Summer Works Scheme which will open for applications in the coming months for projects to be delivered from Summer 2020.