Dáil debates

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

11:00 am

Photo of Mary HanafinMary Hanafin (Minister, Department of Education and Science; Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)

Rather than repeating my reply to Deputy Deenihan, I acknowledge that Deputy Ferris is correct and that Deputy McEllistrim also expressed his concerns about this school. Had the school progressed its building project a few years ago, it would now be too small because the population of the area has grown and the numbers in the school have increased. It was therefore essential to examine the projected enrolments closely so that when the project is completed it will be suitable for the number of children in the school and for the extra teachers.

The Deputy will be aware of the allocation of learning support and resource teachers of which the school has 1.5, meaning at least two teachers are involved. The reduction in class size last year and next year and the commitment for the next three years could also impact on the number of teachers in the school, as could the population growth. Even though the conditions might be difficult at present, it may be to the school's benefit that a more accurate assessment has been made of its numbers and the staffing. The school numbers have been assessed and the technical team is now examining the school. This is evidence of a commitment by the Department with reference to the school building and modernisation programme.

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