Dáil Éireann - Volume 609 - 08 November, 2005

Written Answers. - Schools Refurbishment.

  664. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science if she is satisfied that the school maintenance programme in respect of primary and second level schools is adequate to meet requirements, with particular reference to the need to ensure ongoing maintenance and refurbishment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33188/05]

  Ms Hanafin: Responsibility for the maintenance of schools is a matter for the managerial authorities. My Department issued each school with a maintenance manual in 1998 and boards were exhorted to adopt a proactive approach to maintenance. Per capita grants towards the operating costs of primary and voluntary secondary schools may be used for maintenance purposes. Per capita grants have been increased significantly in recent years. In addition, primary schools are given an [1261] annual allocation of €3,809 plus €12.70 per pupil under the grant scheme for minor works. This allocation must be spent on the physical infrastructure of the school or on items of furniture and equipment for educational use.

Works covered include improvements to school buildings and grounds — items such as the replacement of windows, roof repairs, resurfacing of school yards, repainting and redecorating qualify under this heading — improvement or replacement of mechanical and electrical services, the purchase of standard furniture and physical education equipment and the purchase of floor coverings and window blinds. If there are no outstanding works under any of the above headings that need to be carried out under this scheme, the school may expend funds on items of equipment for use solely by the school, such as computers, overhead projectors and photocopiers.