Dáil Éireann - Volume 633 - 20 March, 2007
Written Answers. - School Accommodation.
Mr. Durkan Mr. Durkan
Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science the extent to which second level school places exist for children from areas (details supplied) in County Kildare; if her attention has been drawn to the extent of overcrowding in the catchment area and the increase in the rolls at existing primary schools; if she will carry out an evaluation of the first and second level needs in the area with a view to planning for the future; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10469/07]
Ms Hanafin Ms Hanafin
Ms Hanafin: I am aware that many areas located within close proximity to Dublin, similar to those referred to by the Deputy, continue to experience population growth, a position that almost inevitably places some strain on existing educational provision. In order to proactively plan for such areas of increased growth my Department is included among the prescribed authorities to whom local authorities are statutorily obliged to send draft development plans or proposed variations to development plans for comment. As a matter of course meetings are arranged with local authorities to establish the location, scale and pace of any major proposed developments and their possible implications for school provision so as to ensure as far as possible the timely delivery of the required education infrastructure.
The areas covered in the first phase of this approach to school planning include north Dublin, south Louth and mid Meath in one plan, which has recently been published, and a separate plan, published in May 2005, for the N4/M4 route running from Leixlip to Kilbeggan and including Maynooth, Celbridge, Kilcock, Edenderry and rapidly developing villages and towns on that route.
 It is open to any school to apply to the Department for additional accommodation to meet its needs. All applications for capital funding are assessed in accordance with the Department’s published prioritisation criteria for large scale building projects which were drawn up following consultation with the education partners. Following this assessment, each application is assigned a band rating. Progress on individual projects is consistent with that band rating.
In addition, where an immediate need for additional accommodation exists, Boards of Management can apply for the provision of temporary rented accommodation.
The School Planning Section of the Department has received applications for major capital funding from the management authorities of Johnstownbridge and Kilshanroe National Schools. The applications have been assessed in accordance with the published prioritisation criteria for large scale projects. Progress on the proposed works is being considered in the context of the School Building and Modernisation Programme from 2007 onwards. In the meantime, an application for the rental of temporary accommodation has been approved to meet Kilshanroe’s immediate accommodation needs from September 2007. The Department has no record of any other applications from the relevant authorities of schools in the areas referred to by the Deputy.
Dáil Éireann 633 Written Answers. School Accommodation.