Written Answers - Schools Building Projects.

Tuesday, 25 March 2003

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 563 No. 4

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  278.  Mr. O'Shea  Information on Brian O'Shea  Zoom on Brian O'Shea   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey   the proposals he has to curtail the minor works grant for primary schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7725/03]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. N. Dempsey): Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  The position regarding the grant was set out in the 2003 school building programme, published in January. The programme shows that €18.1 million has been provided for the payment of the full grant. The programme also identifies explicitly that there are two parts to the grant: €12.5 million for payment of the standard grant of €3,809 to each school and €5.6 million for payment of the per capita element at €12.70 per pupil. The published programme also made clear that an expenditure review of the scheme involving inspections of 300 schools would be undertaken in the early part of the year. The purpose of the review is to ensure that the best use is being made of these funds by schools and to adjust the scheme in line with any recommendations that arise from the review.

The review is about ensuring best practice and making the scheme as effective as possible. The published programme unambiguously states that the review is in the context of maintaining overall expenditure on the scheme at the same levels as in previous years. Arrangements for this review are being finalised at the moment. It is intended to complete it before the end of the current school year.

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