Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD has challenged Minister Richard Bruton to set out the steps he will take to tackle the growing use of prefab classrooms in schools.

Deputy Byrne made the comments after he revealed new information which shows that there has been a 30% increase in the use of prefabs between 2015 and 2017.

Deputy Byrne said, “Land costs, building costs and school age population are all up substantially. However, the increase in the capital budget for schools has not matched these rises. This has resulted in a situation where the school building programme is not keeping up with demand, which has led to a massive increase in the use of prefab classrooms.

“There are almost 1,300 prefabs in use in schools across Ireland. The Government’s school building programme clearly isn’t keeping up with demand. Minister Bruton recently promised to construct new schools, but at the same time he deferred vital building works which were aimed at reducing the need for prefabs.

“The Minister needs to accept that his capital budget is insufficient for the job at hand. Not only has it resulted in a huge increase in prefabs, but the five year capital plan is grossly delayed and many projects promised long before its publication have not even started yet,“ concluded Deputy Byrne.