§ Lord Hylton
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What are the "established criteria" for public funding of Irish language primary schools in Northern Ireland; and why Bunscoil an Iuir in Newry was deemed not to have satisfied them.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (Baroness Denton of Wakefield):
In considering applications for new grant-aided Irish medium primary schools, the Government require that the school should be able to demonstrate an ability to reach an eventual enrolment of at least 100 pupils by achieving and sustaining an annual intake of 14/15 pupils. Other factors which are taken into account arc indications of parental demand, historical and estimated future enrolments, distances from other similar schools, educational standards, and overall costs.
The application for grant-aid by Bunscoil an Iuir was not approved because the school had not achieved, and thus could not yet demonstrate that it could sustain, the required enrolment level.