Dáil Éireann - Volume 609 - 02 November, 2005

Written Answers. - Schools Funding.

  552. Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Education and Science if she intends to increase State funding for Educate Together; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that Educate Together’s finances are facing crisis; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31803/05]

  Ms Hanafin: The level of funding my Department provides to Educate Together as a school management body is on a par with that provided to Foras Patrúnachta na Scoileanna Lánghaeilge, the Church of Ireland Board of Education, the Islamic Board of Education and the National Association of Boards of Management in Special Education. However, following discussions with Educate Together my Department has provided additional funding to Educate Together in 2005 to meet the immediate issues of concern to that body. The matter of the future funding to be provided to the primary management bodies, includ[455] ing Educate Together, in 2006 will be considered as part of the normal Estimates process.

With regard to support for the establishment of new multi-denominational schools, it should be noted that my Department has supported the establishment of many new Educate Together schools in recent years. Of the 24 new schools granted provisional recognition in the past three years, 12 of them are under Educate Together patronage, 11 of which are open. My Department has made a number of changes in recent years which have made the provision of accommodation for new schools much easier. One of these changes, which was strongly welcomed by Educate Together, was the abolition of the local contribution to the building costs for state-owned school buildings, which had cost up to €63,500 per school. Other innovations include the development of the design and build model to provide permanent accommodation much faster, such as in the case of the new Educate Together school in Griffeen Valley, Lucan, which was designed and built in under 13 months.