Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Ceisteanna (74)

Brendan Smith


74. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education when a proposed building project at a school (details supplied) will proceed to the next stage in view of the urgent need to upgrade existing accommodation and provide new accommodation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30281/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

In relation to the school referred to by the Deputy, I can confirm that my Department is in receipt of an application for capital funding under the Additional School Accommodation (ASA) scheme. The School Authority has recently agreed to a proposed project brief, which includes specialist teaching accommodation, but does not include a new Physical Education (PE) Hall, as this does not fall under the remit of the ASA scheme.

The School Authority has applied separately for major capital funding for a PE Hall. As the Deputy is aware, the provision of PE Halls form part of the accommodation brief for all newly established schools. These facilities may also form part of the overall accommodation brief for major capital extensions to existing schools. Details of large-scale projects being delivered under the school building programme may be viewed on my Department's website, and this information is updated regularly.

The main focus of resources over the last decade and for the coming period is on provision of additional capacity to cater for increasing demographics. The second half of the NDP (from 2023 onwards) will see an increasing focus on the upgrade and refurbishment of the existing school stock. This will include a PE Hall build and modernisation programme to ensure that students in all post-primary schools have access to appropriate facilities to support PE provision.

The immediate priority of my Department is providing new and replacement school places each year, to ensure that every child has a school place.