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Written Answers - Value for Money Reviews

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 762 No. 1

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 29.  Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if he will commit to publishing the Value for Money Review of Small Schools by the end of this month; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19383/12]

 33.  Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if he will explain his rationale for the proposed closure of small schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19492/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn I propose to take Questions Nos. 29 and 33 together.

There is no policy to close down small schools. Rather, we have to ensure that the very valuable but limited resources we have available to us are used in the best and fairest way across all of our schools. For this reason, the government took the difficult decision in the budget to increase the number of pupils required to gain and retain a teaching post between now and Sept 2014. Any initiative for re-organisation at school level may come from a variety of sources, such as parents, staff, Board of Management and in particular, the Patron. I have made it clear on several occasions that such decisions will be taken at a local level.

[148]Work is still underway on the report of the value for money review of the provision of small primary schools. After I have received and considered the report, I will arrange publication. At this stage, I am not in a position to provide a publication date. I am committed to publication of the review and I look forward to hearing views and contributions from the House to further debate on this issue.


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