Schools: Capital Funding

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 pm on 2nd March 2015.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 3:15 pm, 2nd March 2015

T3. Mr Poots asked the Minister of Education when he will be in a position to announce the next round of capital funding projects for new-build schools. (AQT 2193/11-15)

Photo of John O'Dowd John O'Dowd Sinn Féin

I am not sure when that will be. First, I have to formally announce the outcome of the education budget for resource and capital, and I will appear before the Education Committee on Wednesday to do so. It depends how the capital programme rolls out this year, how much investment and spend we get out on the ground this year and how we believe that will impact moving into 2016-17. I want to be in a position to make a further announcement in this financial year, but I cannot confirm that at this stage.

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

I trust that, when the Minister is looking at that opportunity, he will not ignore the chance to look at educational need in Dromore High School. The school was developed many years ago for around half of the population that it currently caters for, it performs particularly well in the local community and is very well regarded, and it does not have suitable recreational facilities for the needs of that school community.

Photo of John O'Dowd John O'Dowd Sinn Féin

I am acutely aware of the needs of Dromore High School. The Member and a number of his colleagues have raised the issue with me on numerous occasions. The Member will also be aware that I recently approved expenditure to purchase a site for a new build. I cannot pre-empt any announcement going into the future, but I certainly want to follow up on our initial investment in a site.