Thursday, 18 April 2013
Department of Education and Skills
I assure the Deputy that there is no decision to close small or rural schools. I am aware of the concerns of the small rural schools and I am cognisant of the importance of schools to rural communities. Our current configuration of small primary schools is being examined by my Department in a value for money review. This review had been commenced by my predecessor in office is part of the normal review processes undertaken by Departments on selected areas of expenditure. Among the issues the review will take into account are questions such as availability of diversity of provision, ethos of schools, parental choice, language of instruction, travel distances, transport costs and the impact of schools on dispersed rural communities. The report of the review is currently being finalised and I expect to receive it shortly.