Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Education and Skills
Schools Site Acquisitions
231. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the action he is taking to secure the purchase of a site for a school (details supplied); the assistance being provided to the school to meet the challenge of Covid-19 restrictions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10991/20]
As the Deputy is aware, the provision of new accommodation for the school in question is included in my Department’s capital programme. The project to provide this school accommodation requires the acquisition of a suitable site and this has proved to be extremely challenging to date.
I can confirm that Donegal County Council, acting on behalf of my Department under the Memorandum of Understanding for the acquisition of school sites, are pursuing all potential options for the provision of the required school accommodation.
A potential site has been identified. Technical appraisals of this site are being conducted and contact has been made with the landowner. My Department in conjunction with Donegal County Council are undertaking all the necessary steps in the process to advance the acquisition of this site.
I wish to assure the Deputy that finding a solution at the earliest possible date to meet the requirements of the schools is a priority for my Department.
There is ongoing engagement between my Department and the education partners to work together to ensure the return to school is safe for children and staff which is an essential part for planning to reopen the schools.
My Department is issuing the attached letter dated 12 June 2020 to all schools regarding summer provision and arrangements to be put in place to facilitate the reopening of schools.
My Department will continue to work to give as much certainty and guidance to schools, staff, students and parents over the coming weeks to make a safe reopening possible for all.