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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 229-236
 Header Item School Enrolments
 Header Item School Enrolments
 Header Item School Enrolments
 Header Item School Enrolments
 Header Item Education Policy

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 971 No. 2

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Written Answers Nos. 229-236

School Enrolments

 229. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the extent to which extra primary educational requirements are being met in Johnstownbridge, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relevant section of his Department in respect of each of the existing primary schools or their replacements; the schedule for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29684/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansion in the rate of provision of new school places. The Capital Programme details the school projects that are being progressed through the architectural planning process, including those schools in County Kildare. The Capital Programme also provides for devolved funding for additional classrooms, if required, for schools where an immediate enrolment need has been identified or where an additional teacher has been appointed.

  I wish to advise the Deputy that a project to provide a mainstream classroom and 3 special education teaching rooms has been completed at the primary school in Johnstownbridge.

  I also wish to advise the Deputy of my announcement in April regarding the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022). This announcement follows nationwide demographic exercises carried out by the Department into the future need for primary and post-primary schools across the country and the 4-year horizon will enable increased lead-in times for planning and delivery of the necessary infrastructure.

  My Department has set out on its website at www.education.ie - Building Works, the current status of building projects and this is updated regularly.

School Enrolments

 230. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the extent to which extra primary educational requirements are being met in Rathcoffey, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relevant section of his Department in respect of each of the existing primary schools or their replacements; the schedule for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29685/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansion in the rate of provision of new school places. The Capital Programme details the school projects that are being progressed through the architectural planning process, including those schools in County Kildare. The Capital Programme also provides for devolved funding for additional classrooms, if required, for schools where an immediate enrolment need has been identified or where an additional teacher has been appointed.

  The Deputy will be aware of my announcement in April regarding the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022). This announcement follows nationwide demographic exercises carried out by the Department into the future need for primary and post-primary schools across the country and the 4-year horizon will enable increased lead-in times for planning and delivery of the necessary infrastructure.

  As the Deputy will also be aware, my Department approved a building project at Rathcoffey National School for the provision of two mainstream classrooms. The project has been devolved to the Board of Management for delivery and I understand that the project is currently at planning permission stage. I also wish to advise the Deputy that my Department has set out on its website at www.education.ie - Building Works, the current status of building projects and this is updated regularly.

School Enrolments

 231. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the extent to which extra primary educational requirements are being met in Straffan, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relevant section of his Department in respect of each of the existing primary schools or their replacements; the schedule for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29686/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansion in the rate of provision of new school places. The Capital Programme details the school projects that are being progressed through the architectural planning process, including those schools in County Kildare. The Capital Programme also provides for devolved funding for additional classrooms, if required, for schools where an immediate enrolment need has been identified or where an additional teacher has been appointed.

  A project to provide four new classrooms has been approved to proceed to construction for Straffan National School under my Department's Additional Accommodation Scheme. The project has been devolved for delivery to the school authority.

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department has set out on its website at www.education.ie - Building Works, the current status of building projects and this is updated regularly.

  I also wish to advise the Deputy of my announcement in April regarding the establishment of 42 new schools, including new schools in County Kildare, over the next four years (2019 to 2022). This announcement follows nationwide demographic exercises carried out by the Department into the future need for primary and post-primary schools across the country and the 4-year horizon will enable increased lead-in times for planning and delivery of the necessary infrastructure.

Questions Nos. 232 and 233 answered with Question No. 227.

School Enrolments

 234. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the extent to which extra primary and or second-level educational requirements are being met in Prosperous, County Kildare, in line with that set out by local educational interests and-or the relevant section of his Department in respect of each of the existing primary and post-primary schools or their replacements; the schedule for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29689/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton My Department's Capital Programme (2016-2021) continues to address the challenges posed by the significant bulge in pupil enrolments going through our schools. This has seen a significant expansion in the rate of provision of new school places. The Capital Programme details the school projects that are being progressed through the architectural planning process, including those schools in County Kildare.

  The Deputy will be aware that a building project for a post-primary in Prosperous is included in the Programme. A building project for a new post primary school catering for 1,000 pupils has recently been devolved to Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board for delivery. The ETB will now commence the procurement of the design team to progress this project. The Capital Programme also provides for devolved funding for additional classrooms, if required, for schools where an immediate enrolment need has been identified or where an additional teacher has been appointed. I also wish to advise the Deputy that my Department has set out on its website at www.education.ie - Building Works, the current status of building projects and this is updated regularly.

  I also wish to advise the Deputy of my announcement in April regarding the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022). This announcement follows nationwide demographic exercises carried out by the Department into the future need for primary and post-primary schools across the country and the 4-year horizon will enable increased lead-in times for planning and delivery of the necessary infrastructure.

Question No. 235 answered with Question No. 227.

Education Policy

 236. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the extent to which he has examined a pre-budget submission presented by unions (details supplied) with a view to examining the extent to which he expects to be in a position to positively respond to the queries raised therein in the short to medium term; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29691/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I have set out the ambition to deliver the best education and training service in Europe by 2026. This Government has already made significant provision to support this ambition.

The mid-term capital review made provision for increased investment in my Department’s School Capital Programme.

That Programme has been delivering an average of 18,000 school places per year in major projects and close to 8,000 per year in smaller scale additional accommodation. This building programme has allowed us meet the needs for extra places for an exceptional period of pupil growth at both primary and secondary level (up by over 100,000) and to expand provision of special education units in mainstream schools from 548 to 1304.

This programme has facilitated the employment of nearly 6,000 extra teachers and 3,000 SNAs in a three year period which has also seen two reductions in the primary pupil teacher ratio.

My Department is satisfied that the €8.4 billion capital investment in the National Development Plan (2018 to 2027) is sufficient to deliver the necessary school infrastructure. This is a 70% increase on the €4.9 billion in the previous 10 years (2008-2017).

I fully acknowledge the areas which the Deputy has referred to in his question are important for investment going forward and I will be competing at cabinet for funding in the next budget.

The Deputy will appreciate it would be premature to speculate what precise level of resources will be available across all Government departments or individual departments in advance of the budgetary process.

In recent years the Government has prioritised new, more modern school buildings; additional teachers; a lower pupil-teacher ratio; the introduction of new subjects at leaving certificate - physical education and computer science, for example; the restoration of funding to our universities. I will consider all budgetary submissions from the relevant education stakeholders.


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