Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Ceisteanna (401)

Joan Collins

Ceist:

401. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Education the plans by her Department to provide additional facilities to a school (details supplied). [8245/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I can confirm to the Deputy that my Department approved the amalgamation of the schools in question and approved significant capital funding under the Additional School Accommodation (ASA) scheme for a project which has been devolved to the school authority for delivery. The school authority agreed a project brief which consists of significant additions in terms of mainstream and specialist teaching accommodation, but does not include a new PE Hall or other ancillary accommodation, as this does not fall under the remit of the ASA scheme.

As the Deputy is aware, the immediate priority of my Department is providing 20,000 new and replacement school places each year, to ensure that every child has access to a physical school place.

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 post-primary schools.

The government is committed to a PE Hall build and modernisation programme, starting in the second half of the Project Ireland 2040 period. Therefore, the school's application for funding for a PE Hall and other ancillary accommodation cannot be considered at this time.