Written Answers - Physical Education Facilities.

Tuesday, 24 February 2004

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 580 No. 5

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  265.  Ms O. Mitchell  Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey   the amount allocated in 2004 to primary schools as part of the annual physical education grant scheme. [5593/04]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. N. Dempsey): Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Physical education is a compulsory part of the curriculum for primary schools. In October 2000, my Department introduced an annual physical education grant for all primary schools. Since the introduction of the scheme, my Department provided in excess of €5.5 million in grant aid to primary schools under this scheme for schools to provide coaching or mentoring in connection with physical education or for the purchase of resource materials associated with the provision of physical education. Materials and equipment purchased by schools in previous years will generally be available to them for the current year.

In 2002, primary schools designated as disadvantaged schools received a grant of €1,270 while other recognised primary schools received a grant of €635. Approximately €2.4 million was allocated to schools in 2002 under this scheme. In the light of the current budgetary constraints, I decided to withdraw payment of the grant from 2003. However, schools may use their ordinary capitation grant which has been increased to €121.58 with effect from 1 January 2004. The position will be kept under review as part of the normal Estimates process in the coming years.

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