HC Deb 16 August 1907 vol 180 cc1824-5

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the National School at Killadeas, county Fermanagh, is very inconveniently situated, is at present in a ruinous and insanitary state, condemned by the Commissioners, and that it is intended to build a new school on a more convenient site; that, owing to the place and condition of the school, the attendance has fallen off and was very low in 1906; that a much better attendance will certainly result from the improved site and building, but the Commissioners will not make a grant, even for as large a school as the old one, but insist on a much smaller building, calculating on the shrunken attendance roll of 1906, though the manager, who has known the school and district for several years is desirous that the school should be as large as the old one, and anticipates its being fully attended; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The Commissioners of National Education are aware that the existing accommodation at Killadeas national school is unsatisfactory, and they have regarded the manager's application for a grant towards the erection of a new school house as coming under the class of urgent cases, which may be taken up without waiting for the issue of the standard plans. The official records since 1900 do not show that the attendance has fallen off or that it was very low in 1906. The following are the averages of attendance for the last seven years: 1900, 31; 1901. 29: 1902, 30; 1903, 29; 1904, 26; 1905, 28; and 1906, 33. The new school house, which the Commissioners have provisionally sanctioned, is the largest admissible under the regulations that now determine the accommodation to be provided in new vested national school houses. The averages of pupils on the rolls and in attendance, upon which were based the calculations for the new building, were those for 1906, and were the largest for any year since 1900. According to present standard the old house affords floor space accommodation 50 per cent. in excess of that which is required for the attendance, and its size is no criterion by which to determine the dimensions of the new house, towards the cost of erecting which State aid may be given.