Written Answers - School Accommodation.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 682 No. 6

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  285.  Deputy Róisín Shortall  Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Batt O'Keeffe  Zoom on Batt O'Keeffe   if there is an area value set down in primary or secondary legislation or on an administrative basis for minimum classroom size; and if he will provide details of the measurements and legislative provisions. [20679/09]

Minister for Education and Science (Deputy Batt O’Keeffe): Information on Batt O'Keeffe  Zoom on Batt O'Keeffe  There is no area value set down in primary or secondary legislation or on an administrative basis for minimum classroom size.

However, my Department has guidelines in relation to the size of classrooms in new school buildings. These are guidelines rather than statutory requirements.

In the provision of major extensions/new school buildings it is the current practice of my Department to use a guideline of 80 sq. metres as a standard size of general primary school classroom. This space allows for the inclusion of two en suite toilets and in room storage.

80 sq. metres is considered to be the optimum size of classroom in a new primary school and was determined by studies carried out by my Department and in line with international best practice.

Due to the varied nature of subject provision under the post-primary curriculum the guidelines for classroom size in a new or refurbished post-primary school are more complex and vary from 49m2 for a general classroom up to 136m2 for some of the larger specialist subject rooms. Detailed dimensions along with room layout sheets are set out in my Department’s Post-Primary School Design Guidelines which are available on the Departments web-site.

It should be stressed however that, at both primary and post-primary level, these are guidelines rather than statutory requirements. Classrooms in older schools may be of a smaller size but can allow the full delivery of the curriculum.


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