Additional €70m For School Improvements

Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD, has announced the allocation of almost €70m for school improvements.

More than €28m is being made available as a one-off payment to primary schools as part of the Government's Minor Works Grant scheme, while a further €40m will be allocated under the Summer Works Scene 2014. This initiative is being re-introduced to fund the improvement and upgrading of existing school buildings.

It is understood the Minor Works Grant will be paid to primary schools within the coming weeks and will allow schools to carry out small scale repair works without the need to interact with the Department.

Minister Quinn said: "I know that the immediate payment of this grant in 2013 will be welcomed by school communities and management bodies as a valuable contribution to the costs of maintaining school infrastructure."

Under the Summer Works Scheme, schools will be allowed to undertake small and medium scale building works such as gas, electrical and mechanical works, roof and window upgrades and structural improvements. Each school can apply for one small scale project and will have the responsibility of the completion of those works.

Minister Quinn added: "Despite the funding constraints on my Department's capital budget I am pleased to re-introduce the summer works scheme in 2014. This funding package is being made as part of this Government's continued commitment to improve facilities in schools throughout the country.

"These works will be carried out in schools over the summer months, when the pupils are on holidays, so the disruption to schooling will be kept to a minimum.

"This scheme will not only improve the learning environment for thousands of students, but the projects will also stimulate economic activity by supporting 2,400 direct and 480 indirect much needed construction jobs in the local economy."

Schools can apply for these grants online using the Esinet portal.


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