Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (180)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

180. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the provision of a secondary school in Enfield, County Meath; the timeline for the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46316/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The provision of permanent accommodation for a Post Primary School in Enfield is being delivered under my Department’s Design and Build Programme. This delivery programme uses a professional external Project Management team to progress the project through the stages of architectural planning, tendering and construction.

The project is currently at an advanced stage of architectural planning which includes the preparation of the planning application. As with all school projects, the exact timeframe for delivery of the project will be dependent on the grant of planning permission.

The school will open in 2020 in suitable interim accommodation pending delivery of its permanent building.

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Ceisteanna (181)

James Lawless

Ceist:

181. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to address the shortage of school places for children diagnosed with ASD in north County Kildare; his plans to expand the number of places available at a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46317/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The provision of education for children with special needs is an ongoing priority for Government.

Currently, almost 20% of the total Education Vote or €1.9bn is invested in supporting children with special needs. The numbers of special classes, special education teachers and Special Needs Assistants are at unprecedented levels. Nationally, 167 new special classes opened for the 2019/20 school year, which means there are 1,618 special classes in place, compared to 548 in 2011. Of these 1,353 special classes cater for students diagnosed with ASD.

In Co. Kildare, there are currently 4 special schools and 77 special classes in mainstream schools, including 6 ASD Early Intervention classes, 48 primary ASD classes and 16 ASD post primary ASD classes.

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has a statutory function to plan and co-ordinate the provision of education and support services to children with special educational needs, in consultation with the relevant education partners and the Health Service Executive (HSE).

The Council has well established structures in place to plan and coordinate special education provision throughout the country. This includes identifying the need for and establishing special class and school placements in various geographical areas where they are required. The Council ensures that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all children who have been identified as needing special class placements.

The NCSE is continuing its work at local level to ensure all children can access a suitable school placement for the forthcoming school year and beyond.

Before approaching a particular school to request the establishment of additional specialised provision, the NCSE take into account both present and future potential need within the area and must be satisfied that the provision is sustainable and appropriately located.

When the NCSE sanction the establishment of additional specialised provision in a school, the school can apply to my Department for capital funding to re-configure existing spaces within the school building to accommodate the class and/or to construct additional accommodation.

As the Deputy's question relates to the NCSE planning for additional specialised provision in a particular school area I have arranged for the question to be forwarded to the NCSE for their attention and direct reply.

Special Educational Needs Staff

Ceisteanna (182)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

182. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a special needs assistant will be allocated to a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46324/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school.

The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie, in order that students who have care needs can access SNA support as and when it is needed.

In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources.

SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.

SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with care needs leave the school, as new children with care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independent living skills and their care needs diminish over time.

The NCSE Appeals Process may be invoked by a parent or a school where it is considered that a child was not granted access to SNA support because the requirements outlined in Circular 0030/2014 were not complied with. Schools may also appeal a decision, where the school considers that the NCSE, in applying Department policy, has not allocated the appropriate level of SNA support to the school to meet the special educational and/or care needs of the children concerned.

Where a school has received its allocation of SNA support for 2019/20, but wishes new enrolments or assessments to be considered, which were not taken into account when the initial allocation was made, they may continue to make applications to the NCSE.

As this question relates to a particular school, I have referred the question to the NCSE for their direct reply. I do not have a role in making determinations in individual cases.

School Transport Administration

Ceisteanna (183)

Marc MacSharry

Ceist:

183. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he has requested individual accounts from Bus Éireann in view of the fact that a company (details supplied) would have to audit the separate annual profit and loss accounts for the provision of school transport in order to audit the statutory account of Bus Éireann as published in the annual reports; if he is in receipt of the audits since 1997 for his examination of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46336/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department. In the 2018/2019 school year over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, were transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres at a cost of over €200m in 2018.

The 1975 Summary of Accounting Arrangements form the basis of the payment to Bus Éireann for the operation of the School Transport Scheme. In this regard, the Department reimburses Bus Éireann for a range of costs incurred in the operation and administration of the scheme. Re-imbursement to Bus Éireann is on a cost recovery basis. Actual expenditure is finalised in the Bus Éireann annual statement of account which is independently audited by the Bus Éireann auditors in accordance with the 1975 Summary of Accounting Arrangements.

School Staff

Ceisteanna (184)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Ceist:

184. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the staffing levels at a school (details supplied) can be re-examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46366/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual school level is the staffing schedule for the relevant school year and pupil enrolments on the previous 30th September.

However, the staffing arrangements for primary schools also includes the provision whereby schools experiencing rapid increases in enrolment can apply for additional permanent mainstream posts on developing grounds, using projected enrolment for the following September, in this case September 2019.

The school referred to by the Deputy were allocated a teaching post on developing grounds, but did not achieve the required enrolment on 30th September 2019 to retain the post for the remainder of the school year.

The staffing process includes an appeals mechanism for schools to submit a staffing appeal under certain criteria to an independent Appeals Board.

The school submitted an appeal to the Primary Staffing Appeals Board and, having considered the appeal, the Board deemed the appeal ineligible on the basis that it did not satisfy the criteria outlined in the published staffing arrangements. The school will be entitled to an additional mainstream class teacher in the 2020/21 school year based on its latest enrolment returns.

The Primary Staffing Appeals Board operates independently of the Department and its decision is final.

Schools Site Acquisitions

Ceisteanna (185)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Ceist:

185. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he has engaged with the HSE on the arrangements for the planned permanent accommodation for a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46367/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The school to which the Deputy refers opened under the patronage divestment process in 2015 and is currently in interim accommodation pending delivery of the school's permanent accommodation.

In this regard, my Department has been liaising with the HSE in relation to the possible provision of the school's permanent accommodation in part of a HSE-owned property.

The delivery of permanent accommodation for divested schools can involve complex factors and my Department officials are considering the best way to provide for same.

School Accommodation Provision

Ceisteanna (186)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

186. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to accommodate children who will have no school accommodation for six months in a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46377/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Department are examining all options for interim accommodation for Sept 2020 pending construction of the permanent accommodation for the school to which the Deputy refers.

My Department is in contact with the landlord with regard to the possibility of extending current arrangements.

School Transport Expenditure

Ceisteanna (187)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

187. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills the cost to date of busing children to the temporary accommodation as per the current arrangements for a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46378/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I can advise the Deputy that there are no current busing arrangements for the school to which he refers.

Skills Development

Ceisteanna (188)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

188. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of micro-sized and SME businesses that participated as learners in the management works programme of Skillnet Ireland on an annual basis over the 2016 to 2018 period and to date in 2019, in tabular form; the percentage share of micro-sized and SME businesses that participated in the programme of the number of such sized businesses that operate; the number of participants in each year of the programme; the allocation and national training fund allocation to the programme in each year over the 2016 to 2020 period; and the budget 2020 allocation. [46389/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Skillnet Ireland is funded by my Department through the National Training Fund (NTF) to act as an enterprise-led support body dedicated to the promotion and facilitation of enterprise training and workforce development as key elements in sustaining national competitiveness.

Skillnet Ireland operates a joint funding model where training is funded by combining contributions from employers with Skillnet grants. Through 68 Skillnet Learning Networks, they support over 16,000 companies and 62,000 trainees annually.

Skillnet Ireland has been allocated €36 million in Budget 2020, an additional €8 Million in NTF funding over 2019. This increase was allocated to support 7,000 additional participants on Skillnet Ireland programmes including a new digital skills initiative to assist with ICT shortages across the country and an SME upskilling scheme to assist in addressing productivity issues of indigenous SMEs. Skillnet Ireland will provide training to 69,000 participants in 2020.

Details of the Skillnet Ireland allocation from the National Training Fund 2016 - 2019

2016 €16.8 million

2017 €19.2 million

2018 €21.7 million

2019 €28.0 million

Data on the Management Development initiative (formally Management Works)

2016

2017

2018

2019**

The number of microsized and SME businesses that participated as learners in management works programme of Skillnet Ireland

400

523

427

170

The percentage share of microsized and SME businesses that participated in the programme from the number of such size that operate*

0.16%

0.19%

0.16%

0.06%

The number of participants in each year of the programme

721

776

636

250

Management Development Initiative Fund Allocation

€902,000

€975,000

€1,068,000

€674,000

*Latest CSO data on active enterprises in Ireland is from 2017.

** In 2019, Skillnet Ireland took the decision to phase out the Skillnet Ireland Management Development initiative, focusing the delivery and promotion of management development through their 68 Skillnet Learning Networks, which had significantly increased the scale of management development provision on behalf of SMEs between 2016-2018.

***Up to September 2019.

University Status Applications

Ceisteanna (189)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

189. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the application by Waterford Institute of Technology for university status. [46409/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

It is a matter for the relevant Institutes of Technology in a technological university (TU) development consortium to lead on the progression of their plans to seek designation as a TU under the Technological Universities Act 2018. In relation to the Technological University for South East Ireland (TUSEI) consortium comprising Waterford Institute of Technology and the Institute of Technology Carlow, both institutes are committed to achieving TU status and are working within the consortium towards the submission of an application for TU designation under the 2018 Act in due course.

TUs are a core part of Government’s plan to meet the challenges facing us as an economy and a society with the objective of having a TU presence in every region of the country. This will provide increased choices for students, an enhanced student experience and greater access for potential students tackling educational disadvantage with TUs offering a broad range of teaching from apprenticeship to doctoral degrees. They will also support an increased intensity of research activity which will provide increased opportunities for collaboration with industry and deliver benefits for the economy and wider society. TUs will marry both an attractive physical multi-campus presence with state-of-the-art digital connectivity, providing new modes of learning where the student and learner is placed centre-stage and can access course content and avail of first-class tuition irrespective of location or circumstance. Each TU will serve as an anchor institution in the development and advancement of its region. Drawing frontier technological developments to regions through intensive collaboration, engagement with and connectedness to national and international researchers will be fundamental to TUs acting as regional knowledge hubs. These hubs will, in turn, act as major catalysts for further direct investment, research, innovation and employment growth.

On 18 October I announced €14.25 million in funding to Higher Education Institutions under the HEA 2019 call for submissions for higher education landscape restructuring, consolidation and collaborative projects. The majority of this investment, €11.8 million, is aimed at progressing the creation and expansion of TUs. The TUSEI consortium was allocated €2 million under this call bringing total Exchequer funding to date for their project to €3.72 million. In total since 2013 some €31 million in Exchequer funding has been invested in TU creation and development.

On 6 November I launched the report of the high level working group, the TU Research Network (TURN), entitled ‘Technological Universities: Connectedness & Collaboration enabled by Connectivity’ which sets out the case for a state change in higher education reform for the delivery of national strategic priorities such as are elaborated in Project Ireland 2040, the National Development Plan and Future Jobs Ireland. This state change is to be achieved through the connectedness, particularly at regional level, collaboration and connectivity of TUs and their unique delivery of programmes across the full range of the National Framework of Qualifications. The report makes a series of 12 recommendations for outcomes that will provide TUs with a solid foundation for their development. These centre upon three thematic areas identified by TURN as the essential building blocks for successful TUs : -

- investment in integrated multi-campus digital infrastructure to provide regional cohesion and to facilitate new modes of learning and the prioritisation of capital investment in TUs;

- investment in research capacity building by developing researcher human capital, facilitating research activity and opportunities for existing academic staff and implementing a researcher career development and employment framework, addressing infrastructural deficits and prioritising research strategies within TUs, exploiting fully the mutually supporting roles of teaching and research; and

- realignment of the policy framework and funding for TUs including an expansion of institutional autonomy and reform through the implementation of TU-apposite career structures, the reform of the grant allocation model to accommodate TUs, the creation of a dedicated TU funding stream including in the post-establishment phase and the creation of a borrowing framework for TUs.

The report recognises that relevant priority actions can only be achieved through a structured, system-wide, relevant and dynamic process that will ensure value for money, underpinned by a robust and evidence-based set of monitoring and evaluation arrangements.

The TURN report can be accessed on the Department’s website at: https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Education-Reports/connectedness-collaboration-through-connectivity.pdf

As announced during Budget 2020 and in response to the TURN report the Government is providing €90 million over the next three years under a new TU Transformation Fund to support consortia such as TUSEI to achieve TU designation and to support the further advancement of established TUs.

The TURN report and the ongoing work of the group, whose remit I am extending, will be of considerable assistance and benefit to consortia such as TUSEI towards achieving TU designation as will access to the new TU Transformation Fund being developed currently in consultation with TURN.

Further TU creation, establishment and progression will be achieved by the relevant stakeholders delivering on the TURN report recommendations and the transformational multi-annual funding underpinning such delivery.

Freedom of Information Data

Ceisteanna (190)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

190. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Education and Skills when the disclosures log made by his Department under freedom of information was last updated; if this is in line with the disclosure policy of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46466/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Department updates the FOI Disclosure Log at the end of each quarter plus forty working days to allow for extended FOI requests to be decided upon. Therefore the Log was recently updated, in October 2019 and now covers up to Q2 2019. It is provided in tabular format and is easily accessed on my Department’s website.

The policy is directly aligned with the guidance provided by the FOI Central Policy Unit in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s 2015 Code of Practice for Freedom of Information for Public Bodies. All FOI requesters are apprised that summary information will be published regarding non-personal requests. The log only includes non-personal requests and provides summary information of accepted/valid requests as follows:

- Date of request

- Category of requester

- Description of the request

- Decision made

- Date of release

My Department takes a proactive approach to the publication of official information and regularly updates the ‘publication scheme’ in accordance with the “Model Scheme” provided for in section 8 of the FOI Act, 2014. This includes:

- General information about the Department

- Information about services provided or to be provided to the public

- Our decision making process for major policy proposals

- Financial Information

- Procurement information, and

- The Disclosure Log

Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (191)

John Lahart

Ceist:

191. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Education and Skills when construction will commence on the new building for a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46478/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The procurement process for a bundle of projects is due to commence shortly with the publication of a contract notice to determine a shortlist of interested contractors. The permanent building for the school referred to by the Deputy is part of this bundle of projects.

The procurement process (and the associated tendering to short-listed contractors) for this bundle of projects will be ongoing during Q4 2019 and Q1 2020.

It is anticipated that construction of this school building project will commence in Q2 2020.

School Accommodation Provision

Ceisteanna (192)

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

192. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to provide temporary accommodation to a school (details supplied) to meet the capacity needs for the incoming intake of pupils for September 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46495/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I can confirm to the Deputy that approval in principle has been given, to the school in question, for interim temporary accommodation. Officials from my Department are currently liaising with the school authority and are awaiting additional information in order to finalise the matter.

School Transport Appeals

Ceisteanna (193)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

193. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of a school transport appeal by a person (details supplied). [46500/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department. In the 2018/2019 school year over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, were transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres at a cost of over €200m in 2018.

The purpose of the Department's School Transport Scheme is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who reside remote from their nearest school. Under the terms of my Department's Post Primary School Transport Scheme children are eligible for school transport where they reside not less than 4.8 kilometres from and are attending their nearest education centre as determined by my Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

The pupil referred to by the Deputy resides 14.5kms from Foxford Post Primary School, his nearest school and 15.4kms from home to his selected school, St Tiernan's College. Bus Eireann have advised that no application for School Transport has been received for the pupil for the 2019/20 school year but that there is spare capacity on the service that operates to St Tiernan's College.

The Deputy also refers to the Remote Area Grant but as the pupil is not attending his nearest school the family are not eligible for this grant.

Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (194)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

194. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the provision of a new school building and site for a school (details supplied) in County Kildare. [46512/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The major building project for the school referred to by the Deputy has completed Stage 2(b) of architectural planning and has been progressed to tender stage.

The Design Team Leader has advised that it expects to issue the Invitation to Tender to the shortlisted contractors in the coming days.

A tender stage normally takes between 7 and 8 months to complete.

In regard to the site acquisition, good progress is being made and it is anticipated that conveyancing will conclude in the very near future. Both legal teams are working on finalising matters. It is not possible to elaborate on specific details due to commercial sensitivities, however, the Department will continue in its commitment to keep the school appraised of progress in the transaction.

Home Tuition Scheme Provision

Ceisteanna (195)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

195. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Education and Skills if home tuition hours will be extended to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare. [46514/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The purpose of the Home Tuition Grant Scheme is to provide funding towards the provision of a compensatory educational service for children who, for a number of specific reasons, are unable to attend school.

In exceptional cases my Department will consider home tuition applications on behalf of students with diagnoses of school phobia and/or associated depression/anxiety which has caused major disruption to their attendance at school.

This exception will only apply where a continued absence from school is required to facilitate appropriate medical or therapeutic intervention with a view to the reintegration of the student in their school.

Home tuition is not an alternative to a school placement and is provided in very limited and specific circumstances.

Generally, grant aid based on a range of between 2 and 10 hours tuition may be approved with the allocation reflecting the level of attendance in the previous school year and whether the attendance was at primary or post primary level.

As a general guide, up to 5 hours may be granted to children at primary level while students at post primary level may be granted between 2 and 10 hours.

Based on the information provided in the application referred to by the Deputy, my Department sanctioned a Home Tuition grant towards the provision of 5 hours tuition per week.

The Home Tuition Grant Scheme provides for an appeal process and details are set out in the decision letter which issued to the applicant.

Appeals may be submitted in writing to my Department’s Special Education Section outlining the reasons for the appeal along with any additional supporting documents or reports, as appropriate.

Third Level Funding

Ceisteanna (196, 197)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

196. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the capital funding provided to each university, technological university, institute of technology and college of education in each of the past ten years in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46519/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

197. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the funding provided to each university, technological university, institute of technology and college of education in respect of minor works and-or devolved capital grants in each of the past ten years in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46520/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 196 and 197 together.

I have included a table in relation to capital funding, including devolved grant funding for minor works/equipment renewal, provided by my Department to each Higher Education Institution (HEI) in each of the past ten years.

The Deputy should be aware that a number of capital projects, particularly in the university sector, over the period in question were delivered without funding from my Department. In all cases, the HEIs are the responsible bodies for project delivery and ongoing management.

Project Ireland 2040 signals Exchequer investment of €2.2 billion in Ireland's higher education infrastructure over the period to 2027. In that context, my Department and the HEA are currently working with the HEIs to advance a range of new infrastructure projects across the sector.

The HEA is also currently carrying out a review of the Devolved Grant funding model.

Capital Table

Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (198)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

198. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding a new school (details supplied); the stage at which the project is at; when construction will commence on the school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46533/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

This major building project is included in my Department’s Construction Programme which is being delivered under the National Development Plan.

The project is currently at an advanced stage of architectural planning, Stage 2(b) - Detailed Design, which includes the application for statutory approvals and the preparation of tender documents. All statutory approvals have been secured.

Following the appointment of a replacement consultant architect, the Design Team has reviewed the previous Stage 2(b) documentation and upgraded the design to ensure that the new school building is a Near Zero Energy Building (NZEB) in compliance with the 2017 amendment to Part L of the current Building Regulations.

A revised Stage 2(b) report has been submitted by the Design Team to the Department for review. Upon the commencement of the review of the submitted documentation the Department requested the Design Team to submit some additional revised documentation which has recently been received. Once the revised Stage 2(b) review is complete the Department will revert to the Board of Management regarding the progression of the project.

Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (199)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

199. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Education and Skills the commencement and completion date for the building of a new secondary school in the Greystones and Kilcoole area of County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46536/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The provision of permanent accommodation for the new post primary school to serve Greystones and Kilcoole requires the acquisition of a site by my Department.

I can confirm a potential site option has been identified and discussions are ongoing with the landowner with a view to acquiring this site. It is difficult to indicate a timeframe for any site acquisition as each process is unique and in some instances complex issues can arise which can cause delays.

Nevertheless, my Department is committed to delivering a site for the new post primary school for the Greystones and Kilcoole area of County Wicklow and work is ongoing to achieve this as soon as possible. Once there is sufficient certainty in respect of a site the project to deliver the permanent accommodation can advance into the architectural planning stage.