Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Education and Skills
Schools Building Projects
390. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the planned building project for a school (details supplied) in County Laois; and the projected timescale for construction of the new building to start. [44366/20]
The major building project for the school referred to by the Deputy is included in my Department’s Construction Programme which is being delivered under the National Development Plan.
At the recent Stage 2(a) Stakeholders meeting my Department requested an Addendum report to the Stage 2a Submission. Once this Report is submitted it will be reviewed by my Department and a decision will be made regarding the approval to progress to Stage 2(b). Stage 2 (b) is the Detailed Design Stage, which includes the application for statutory approvals and the preparation of tender documents.
As the Deputy will be aware, 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. I can confirm that my Department has received an application for major capital works from the school referred to by the Deputy and that this application can only be considered in this context.
Under project Ireland 2040, my Department continues to make progress to increase the infrastructural capacity in the schools sector, in order to meet demographic and other demands.
The Capital Programme details the school projects that are being progressed under Project Ireland 2040. I wish to advise the Deputy that the current status of large-scale projects being delivered under project Ireland 2040 may be viewed on my Department's website, and this information is updated regularly. In addition, a list of large-scale projects completed from 2010 to date may also be viewed on the website.
The Capital Programme also provides for devolved funding for additional classrooms, if required, for schools where an immediate enrolment need has been identified, or where an additional teacher has been appointed. Details of schools listed on this programme can be found on my Department's website and this information is also updated regularly. The school in question has been advised that they are eligible to apply under the Additional School Accommodation (ASA) scheme if staffing increases at the school in the future.