Dáil Éireann - Volume 609 - 08 November, 2005
Written Answers. - Schools Building Projects.
Mr. Durkan Mr. Durkan
682. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science the extent to which she intends to accelerate the schools building programme with a view to replacement or extension in keeping with modern best practice; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33206/05]
Mr. Durkan Mr. Durkan
730. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science the 20 primary or post-primary schools throughout the country deemed to have the most urgent cases in respect of which submissions are with her Department for the provision of extra facilities or funding based on current and projected enrolments; if she intends to respond to such needs at an early date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33263/05]
Ms Hanafin Ms Hanafin
Ms Hanafin: I propose to take Questions Nos. 682 and 730 together.
The school planning section of my Department is responsible for planning the provision of suitable cost effective accommodation both in response to applications from school managerial authorities for accommodation and by analysis of changing demographics. All resultant projects, whether extensions to existing schools or new schools, are prioritised by reference to published criteria which were revised last year in consultation with the education partners. These criteria are structured to ensure that schools most in need of accommodation are assigned a band 1 priority rating. To date this has been reflected in the pub lication of the multi-annual capital programme and that will continue in the future.
To ensure speed in delivering projects, initiatives such as the devolved building initiative for small schools and the permanent accommodation initiative, both introduced in 2003, were expanded in 2004 and 2005. These demonstrate the Department’s commitment to find innovative and flexible solutions to the difficulties faced by schools seeking to refurbish their buildings or to provide additional accommodation quickly. These schemes fund schools to respond quickly to accommodation difficulties. They involve minimal interaction with my Department and schools are fully empowered to drive the design and construction process. I fully expect that these initiatives will inform future policy in this area.
Dáil Éireann 609 Written Answers. Schools Building Projects.