Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD has called on Minister Richard Bruton to set out a detailed delivery plan for the 42 new schools which he recently announced.

Deputy Byrne made the comments after obtaining information which casts doubt over whether the schools can be delivered on time.

Deputy Byrne said, “Minister Bruton recently announced that he would deliver 42 new schools over the next 4 years. This is a welcome development considering the chronic underinvestment in schools by Fine Gael in Government and the increasing demand for school places due to demographic demand.

“However new information which I have obtained shows that no site location has been identified for the 17 new schools that are due to open next year. It seems highly unlikely that the Government will be able to deliver these schools on time considering site location is yet to take place. It suggested that Minister Bruton didn’t put in the groundwork before rushing to make his announcement.

“13 of these schools are primary and the remaining 4 are secondary level. The 4 post-primary schools are set to accommodate 3,200 pupils. These school places are urgently needed but unfortunately their delivery seems some way off due to Fine Gael’s failure to invest in the capital project for schools in recent years.

“Minister Bruton needs to set out a detailed delivery plan for the 42 new schools that he has announced. They need to remain a top priority for the Government considering the huge pressure that the education system is already under with many children being taught in supersize classes,” concluded Deputy Byrne.