I wish to advise the Deputy that the current status of large-scale building projects completed or to be delivered under the school building programme is available on my Department's website. www.education.ie. This information is updated on a regular basis.
Once a major project commences on site, a Payment Certificate plus an invoice to cover the amount of work carried out in the previous four weeks is submitted to my Department by schools monthly and payment is made within a week of receipt of this paperwork. When the project reaches substantial completion, there is a twelve month defects period and the final payment cannot be made until the defects period has expired and confirmation is received that all snags have been successfully dealt with.
Under the National Development Plan (NDP), increased funding has been provided for the school sector capital investment programme. This funding allows for a continued focus on the provision of new permanent school places to keep pace with demographic demand and also provides for an additional focus on the refurbishment of existing school buildings to include the building and modernisation of PE facilities in schools.
The immediate priority of my Department is providing 20,000 new and replacement school places each year, to ensure that every child has a school place.