Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Education and Skills
School Accommodation Provision
181. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the impending eviction of a school (details supplied) from its site; and if the school will be facilitated to remain on the site until the end of the school year and ensure that when the new school year commences in September 2019, the play school is relocated to the new primary school site. [9117/19]
The Department is aware that the play school referred to, by the Deputy, is operating in the main primary school's existing accommodation. This appears to be an initiative of the main primary school and the Department is not party to this arrangement. The Department is constructing a new permanent replacement school for the primary school in question and the project is currently on site.
The Department does not have any remit for the provision of a building for the play school in question.
In order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas and uses a Geographical Information System, using data from a range of sources, to identify where the pressure for school places across the country will arise. With this information, my Department carries out nationwide demographic exercises to determine where additional school accommodation is needed at primary and post-primary level.
Where demographic data indicates that additional provision is required, the delivery of such additional provision is dependent on the particular circumstances of each case and may, depending on the circumstances, be provided through either one, or a combination of, the following:
- Utilising existing unused capacity within a school or schools,
- Extending the capacity of a school or schools,
- Provision of a new school or schools.
As the Deputy may be aware, the Government recently announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022). This announcement follows nationwide demographic exercises carried out by my Department into the future need for primary and post-primary schools across the country and the 4-year horizon will enable increased lead-in times for planning and delivery of the necessary infrastructure.
While the announcement did not include a new post-primary school in Kinnegad (which is located in the Killucan school planning area), I have highlighted that the requirement for new schools will be kept under on-going review and in particular would have regard for the increased rollout of housing provision as outlined in Project Ireland 2040.