Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (441)

John Curran

Ceist:

441. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Education and Skills if consideration has been given to the establishment and roll-out of a national primary school summer camp to take place in all national primary schools for one to two weeks during the school summer holidays in an attempt to alleviate the annual summer childcare costs for parents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32021/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Department does not provide for primary school summer camps and I have no plans to introduce summer camps for primary schools.

As the Deputy may be aware my Department has a general policy of encouraging the use of school facilities by community and other groups where this is possible and following consultation with the relevant school authorities, in October 2017 published Guidelines on the use of School Buildings outside of school hours. These guidelines can be viewed on my Department's website at this link: https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/guidelines-on-the-use-of-school-buildings-outside-of-school-hours.pdf.

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide guidance for schools in relation to the use of school buildings outside of school hours and for those schools who are considering putting such arrangements in place.

The management of school premises at local level is a matter for the relevant school authorities. Any decision to make school premises available ultimately lies with the relevant Trustees/Property owners following a recommendation from the school authorities. However, as schools are often the centre of sustainable communities there can be mutual benefits in building links with the local community. It is recognised that schools play an important role in their wider communities and many schools make their facilities available outside of school hours for a variety of different uses and users.