Dáil Éireann - Volume 651 - 10 April, 2008

Written Answers. - Schools Refurbishment.

Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Education and Science the funding she is making available in 2008 to carry out remedial works and upgrading works in primary schools; the way in which such funding can be applied for; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13681/08]

  Deputy Mary Hanafin: Primary school authorities may use their annual minor works grant to deal with such works. In November 2006 I increased funding for the minor works grant by 44% on the previous year. Around €27m was paid out to primary schools throughout the country late last year to enable thousands of small scale works to be completed without the need to interact with my Department. Individual primary schools received a grant in the sum of €5,500 plus €18.50 per pupil. This is intended to be used by schools to address most of the type of works to which the Deputy refers.

In the case of larger scale works an extension to a school building is generally considered as a major capital application. The relevant application forms are available on the Department’s website at www.education.ie. Where an extension project is required in conjunction with other renovation works, the approach generally taken would be to roll all the works together under one large scale project.

As the Deputy may be aware, the Summer Works Scheme was introduced in 2004 to fund necessary smaller scale works in schools. Since then, over 3,000 projects costing in excess of €300 million have been completed. With so many smaller projects having been completed over the past few years, I intend to focus on delivering as many large projects as possible in 2008. [876] There is not, therefore, a new Summer Works Scheme as part of our building programme this year. There will be a Summer Works Scheme in 2009.