Schools: COVID-19 Capital Investment

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 21st September 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Michelle McIlveen Michelle McIlveen DUP 2:30 pm, 21st September 2021

I thank the Member for his question. He will be aware that, over the past few months, I have made that a priority as much as I can around a broad range of schools. I am concerned about the disparity of provision across the schools estate.

I recently met my officials and representatives from the EA to discuss minor works, maintenance, the school enhancement programme and major capital projects. The Member will be aware, having been in attendance at many finance debates in the House, that money is clearly an issue and will continue to be so. While capital is probably more readily available to the Executive, resource is also required to carry out those projects.

I am more than happy to put together a substantial bid if the Member's colleagues are willing to support it. While I hope to announce a further list of capital projects before the end of the mandate, it really will be only a drop in the ocean of what is required to bring the estate up to standard. All children and young people, along with the dedicated staff who nurture and educate them, deserve to be in facilities that are fit for purpose. I will continue conversations with my officials to try to achieve that.