Funding for school works

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Galway East TD Paul Connaughton has today welcomed the announcement that €108 million is being made available for minor works grants and summer works projects in primary schools across the county.

‘Grants in respect of minor works will be paid in the next fortnight while applications are now open for summer works projects. €28.5 million is provided for the payment of a Minor Works grant to primary schools for the current school year and €80 million is allocated over 2016 and 2017 for a multi-annual Summer Works Scheme for schools. This funding was initially promised as part of the Budget 2016 investment in schools.

‘Over €28m is being made available to facilitate the issue of the 2015/2016 Minor Works Grant to primary schools. This grant will issue to all primary schools by 20th November 2015. The €28.5m fund aims to improve the physical infrastructure of schools and the purchase of standard furniture and physical education equipment, and IT related equipment without needing to deal directly with the Department.

‘The rates payable are €5,500 per school plus €18.50 per mainstream pupil and €74 per special needs pupil. The grant is worth more than €11,000 for a 300 pupil primary school, or almost €13,000 in the case of a special school with 100 pupils.

‘€40 million per year in 2016 and 2017 is being made available for the purposes of a multi-annual Summer Works Scheme for schools. This funding will allow schools to carry out small and medium scale building works such as gas, electrical and mechanical works, roof and window upgrades and structural improvements.

‘It is up to schools to identify the most urgently required projects to be funded from the Summer Works Scheme. Each school can apply for one small scale project and will be responsible for the completion of those works.

‘This Government is committed to proper funding of education and this is one step towards improving and upgrading existing school buildings. The work, which is carried out during the summer months, causes minimum disruption to schools. It will also provide a valuable boost in terms of employment numbers in the county.’

Applications for the Summer Works Scheme are now open and will be made on the Esinet portal, paper applications will not be accepted. The closing date for applications is November 27th. Further information is available on the Department’s website www.education.ie