At a recent meeting of Pelletstown Educate Together National School, I undertook to the parents and teachers that were present at the very pack meeting that I would raise the urgent need to obtain additional prefabs on the current temporary site of school before the next academic year in September. Pelletstown Educate Together National School has proven a very successful school so far and has been great in terms of helping to give local children a head start in life, and has provided a community base for the entire locality.
I later questioned the Department of Education over the issue of prefabs and I urged the Minister to get the permanent school building underway as quickly as possible at the designated permanent site. I think it is very obvious to anyone that knows the area that has been a very significant expansion in the child population. It seems at times however, that the Department of Education has not done its homework to find out on the ground how many children that are looking for places in local schools.
In his response to my questioning, the Minister in his reply said:
“In September 2019, the school will require additional interim accommodation. Officials at my Department are very aware of the additional accommodation requirements of the school and work is ongoing to ensure that there will be sufficient suitable additional accommodation available to the school for September 2019.
“The Department has been seeking the landlord’s permission to install the two prefabs which will be required for September 2019. The landlord has recently given consent and the Department is currently working on the planning application which will be lodged with Dublin City Council shortly.
“With regard to the permanent school building project for Pelletstown Educate Together NS, I am pleased to advise that the Department has secured the permanent site for the school and planning permission has been lodged with Dublin City Council. Providing the planning process runs smoothly and no issue arise, the project is scheduled to be on site in Quarter 2 of 2019. It is intended that construction will take place in a manner to allow for a phased handover of sufficient accommodation to meet the schools need by the end of January 2020. Phase 2 of the project is expected to be ready for Quarter 2 of 2020.
“The Department is in regular contact with and holds monthly meetings with the school Patron Body in relation to this and a number of other projects under their remit and will continue to keep the schools Patron Body fully informed of progress.”