Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Department of Education and Science
Question 242: To ask the Minister for Education and Science if he will arrange for his Department to make contact with the board of management of a school (details supplied) in County Cork as soon as possible in order to discuss the need to construct four new classrooms; if he will examine the possibility of the board arranging for the construction of these classrooms locally with the assistance of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17101/09]
I can confirm to the Deputy that an application was received for large scale capital funding for an extension/refurbishment project from the School to which he refers. It was assessed in accordance with the published prioritisation criteria for large scale building projects by my Department and assigned a Band rating of 2.4.
The progression of all large scale building projects, including the project in question, from initial design stage through to construction phase will be considered in the context of my Department's multi-annual School Building and Modernisation Programme. However, in light of current competing demands on the capital budget of the Department, it is not possible to give an indicative timeframe for the progression of the project at this time.
In the meantime, an application for Temporary Accommodation has been received. This application has been considered by my Department and unfortunately was not approved due to tightening economic circumstances and the availability of a capacity within the school.
In such times, where schools have alternative accommodation, such as a GP room or library, this should be used as an interim measure. While the Department accepts that it is not ideal for children to be taught in non-customised accommodation, sometimes, this is unavoidable until more favourable economic circumstances prevail and the Department is in a position to regularise the situation. The Management Authority of the School has recently been notified of this decision.