Education | Update on the provision of a new school at Enfield
To ask the Minister for Education the up-to-date position in regard to the provision of a new school at Enfield, County Kildare; the progress on the project to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
The permanent accommodation for the school referred to by the Deputy is being delivered under my Department’s Design and Build Programme. This delivery programme uses a professional external Project Management team to progress the project through the stages of architectural planning, tendering and construction.
It is intended that the school will move to suitable interim accommodation on the permanent site for the 2023/24 school year, pending delivery of the permanent accommodation for the new school.
My Department’s Planning and Building Unit is currently assessing its work programme and priorities for 2023 in the context of its available funding. My Department’s published NDP allocation for 2023 is €860 million. Key priorities for my Department’s work programme include continuing strong delivery to support the operation of the school system with particular regard to planning ahead for the 2023/24 school year and beyond and also with particular regard to supporting special needs provision.
High construction inflation remains a continuing feature of the construction sector for 2023. As part of its planning ahead for the remainder of 2023, my Department is engaging with the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform in relation to capital funding pressures in order to continue to adequately support the operation of the school system with rollout of school building projects to construction in 2023.
I want to reassure the Deputy and the relevant school communities that school building projects that are currently on hold due to capital funding pressures will be progressed and delivered – it is a question of timing. I am well aware of the urgency in getting these projects delivered as quickly as possible. The outcome of our engagement with the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform will provide better clarity on the timelines for the progression of these projects. This is a key priority for me.
We will be providing an update to individual schools when our engagement with the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform concludes. In tandem with this, my Department’s Planning & Building Unit will also be updating Patron Bodies and School Management Bodies at that stage.
My Department will continue to liaise with the school’s patron body in relation to the school’s interim accommodation needs pending delivery of the permanent accommodation for the school.
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