Thursday, 19 November 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
183. Deputy John Perry asked the Minister for Education and Science the status of a new national school project regarding a school (details supplied) in County Sligo; if he will give assurances that the necessary funding will be awarded for this project; if he will make contact with the board of management; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42499/09]
Minister for Education and Science (Deputy Batt O’Keeffe): The school to which the Deputy refers has applied to my Department for large scale capital funding for a new school project. The application has been assessed in accordance with published prioritisation criteria for large scale projects and assigned a band 1 rating. Information in respect of the current school building programme along with all assessed applications for major capital works, including the project referred to by the Deputy, are now available on my Department’s website at www.education.ie.
The priority attaching to individual projects is determined by published prioritisation criteria, which were formulated following consultation with the Education Partners. There are four band ratings under these criteria, each of which describes the extent of accommodation required and the urgency attaching to it. Band 1 is the highest priority rating and Band 4 is the lowest. Documents explaining the band rating system are also available on my Department’s website.
I met with a deputation from this school in November 2008 and discussed with them the status of their project. In February 2009, I announced 25 projects to proceed into architectural planning. Unfortunately, in light of the availability of funding and the urgency of need attaching to other projects, it was not possible to include this project in that announcement. The progression of all large scale projects, including this project, from initial design stage through to construction phase will be considered in the context of my Department’s Multi-Annual School Building and Modernisation Programme. However, in light of current competing demands on the Department’s capital budget, it is not possible to give an indicative timeframe for the progression of the project at this time.
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