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Education | Status of school building program

To ask the Minister for Education the extent to which the school building programme can remain on target in the current and coming years; and if she will make a statement on the matter.


The National Development Plan sets out the national priorities and funding levels for the school building programme.  Key priorities under the National Development Plan 2021 to 2030 include:

 Continuing to cater for additional capacity requirements

  • Provision of      accommodation for special classes with a particular emphasis on ramping up      provision at post-primary level to facilitate a smooth transition from      primary level
  • Delivering on      Climate Action agenda and integrating, where possible, on modernisation of      existing school infrastructure
  • Strengthening asset management and maintenance regime across schools

 My Department has a strong track record of delivery.  During the period 2018 to 2022, nearly 900 school building projects were completed.

Through Project Ireland 2040, we are investing €4.4 billion over the period 2021 to 2025, to add capacity and develop and upgrade school facilities across the country for the almost one million students and over 100,000 staff that learn and work in our schools every day.

The key drivers of capital investment in the schools sector are as follows:

•demographic change, including keeping pace with delivery of SEN and accommodation for Ukrainian pupils particularly at Post Primary

•alignment with housing provision and national planning at school planning area level,

•construction costs,     

•climate action objectives including deep energy retrofit. 

The continued high level of construction inflation (21% in the schools sector between Q2 2021 and Q2 2022) together with the increased requirements in terms of demographics, SEN and Ukrainian students all add to capital funding pressures to be managed.  In this regard, additional supplementary funding of €300m was provided in 2022 to support this strong project rollout.  

These challenges will continue to be managed as best as possible in 2023 and beyond and it is envisaged that they will also get reflected, as appropriate, in the next review of the overall NDP allocations that is due to take place later in 2023.

We continue to have a strong pipeline of projects for delivery under the school building programme involving circa 300 projects at construction and in excess of 1,000 projects at the various stages of appraisal and design.  

The current status of all projects is listed on the Department’s website and this is updated on a monthly basis as part of our overall communications

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