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Minister’s lack of knowledge on school prefabs ‘appalling’ – Adams

10 May, 2018 - by Gerry Adams TD


Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams has described as unacceptable the fact that Minister for Education Richard Bruton has admitted that he does not know how many schools in Louth are using prefabs onsite.

Teachta Adams said;

“Last month, the Minister announced that 42 new schools would be established over the next 4 years.

“One of these new post primary schools is to be located in the Laytown/Drogheda area of my constituency and I have welcomed that.

“However, the fact remains that 575 schools across the state have applied for major refurbishments.  We know that the vast majority of schools are reliant on the use of prefabs on their school site to provide extra classroom space.  This has many negative impacts on pupil and teacher experiences, particularly when prefabs are old and have outlived their usefulness.

“The Minister’s announcement regarding the new schools stated that ‘nationwide demographic exercises (were) carried out by his Department into the current and future need for primary and post-primary school places across the country’.

“I have asked the Minister a series of parliamentary questions regarding the use of prefabs by schools in Louth and I am shocked that he has responded to me stating that the Department of Education does not hold this information.

“Surely, this information would have been an important factor in determining the locations for the 42 new school builds? It beggars belief that the Department does not have this information and that it has not fed into the planning process to date.

“Minister Bruton goes on to tell me that his department will be carrying out an assessment of the number of prefabs being used in schools and that this assessment will enable the replacement of such prefabs to commence in 2019.

“He states that a funding provision of €180 million is being made available from 2019 for this initiative.

“I urge the Minister to honour the commitment made in the Programme for Government to replace these prefabs with permanent accommodation.”

Note: Please see the corres[pondance with Minister Bruton below

 ______________________________________________

For Written Answer on : 09/05/2018
Question Number(s): 113,112,114 Question Reference(s): 20278/18, 20277/18, 20279/18
Department: Education and Skills
______________________________________________


QUESTION

* To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of schools in County Louth which have more than one prefab.

- Gerry Adams T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 9 May, 2018.

* To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of schools in County Louth which have prefabs on site.

- Gerry Adams T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 9 May, 2018.

* To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the location of schools in County Louth which utilise prefabs on their site.

- Gerry Adams T.D.


For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 9 May, 2018.

REPLY


I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department does not hold details relating to the information requested.

As the Deputy will be aware, it is my intention to replace all purchased temporary accommodation with permanent accommodation, where the need is established, over the lifetime of my Department's Capital Programme (2016 to 2021). To enable this development, my Department will be carrying out an assessment of the number of prefabs being used in schools to deliver the curriculum. This will also determine whether or not individual prefabs need to be replaced in the context of the long-term accommodation needs of each individual school. When completed, this assessment will quantify the number of prefabs to be replaced.

It is intended that this assessment when finalised will enable the replacement of such prefabs to commence in 2019. A funding provision of €180 million is being made available from 2019 for this initiative in the programme.

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