Thursday 21 June 2018

Schools to share €30m for essential repairs

Jan O'Sullivan
Jan O'Sullivan
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Schools are to share €30m to carry out small and medium-scale improvement works over the summer months.

The money is being distributed to 197 primary and post primary schools to allow for vital gas works and electrical upgrades, which were prioritised for this round of funding

Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan said the projects were "deemed to be absolutely necessary" by the schools.

The funding, known as the Summer Works Scheme, also covers works such as roofs, toilet facilities, windows, projects for special needs pupils and new equipment, although none of these categories were prioritised for 2016.

This year's allocation is part of a wider €80m commitment for such works over the 2016-2017 period.

The purpose of the Summer Works Scheme is to devolve funding to school authorities to undertake projects, which can be carried out mainly during the summer months to avoid disrupting the operation of the schools.

Last week, the Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) criticised the delay in making the announcement, stating that schools needed time to make arrangements to have work carried out over the summer months.

Arising from an invitation from the Department of Education last November, more that 1,650 schools applied for the money over the two years of the programme, and the allocations this year are for 135 projects at primary level and 62 at post-primary.

The Summer Works Scheme was scrapped for a period at the height of the financial downturn and a backlog of work built up in schools.

Irish Independent

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