Dáil Éireann - Volume 655 - 21 May, 2008
Written Answers. - School Accommodation.
Deputy Jack Wall Deputy Jack Wall
Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Education and Science the amount of money paid by his Department to primary schools directly or indirectly for hiring of prefabricated classrooms; the average duration and length of the rental contract; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19724/08]
Deputy Batt O’Keeffe Deputy Batt O’Keeffe
Deputy Batt O’Keeffe: My Department spent €34.6m on the rental of temporary accommodation in primary schools in 2007. This figure covers the rental of prefabricated classrooms as well as the rental of high quality buildings. The duration of the rental contracts varies according to the need for such accommodation. However, my Department has a policy that where such temporary accommodation is likely to be needed for  more than three years, the prefabricated accommodation should be purchased rather than rented.
Demand for additional accommodation in schools has risen significantly over the last number of years, with the appointment of 6,000 extra teachers in the primary sector alone since 2002. In considering the need to provide extra resource and other teachers to schools in recent years, the Government could have decided to make children wait until permanent accommodation could be provided. However, we prioritised putting the extra teachers into schools as soon as possible. Against this background, my Department has nonetheless managed to keep expenditure on temporary accommodation low. It should be noted that the amount spent on rental and purchased accommodation in 2007 was only 6.2% of the total investment in school buildings in 2007. This compares with 10.8% in 2003.
Dáil Éireann 655 Written Answers. School Accommodation.