Wednesday 22 November 2017

Funding is back again for schools

Katherine Donnelly, Education Editor

SCHOOLS are getting money to carry out essential improvements this summer for the first time in three years.

Funding is being made available for small and medium-scale jobs, such as windows, roofs, heating and toilets.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has announced €36m in funding for 386 schools, 290 of which are at primary level, under the Summer Works Scheme 2014 in the gas, electrical and mechanical categories.

He said a second round of funding would be announced shortly to cover other projects.

The works will be carried out over the summer, when pupils are on holidays, so the disruption will be kept to a minimum.

The scheme was suspended for a number of years because of financial constraints and the focus of the Department of Education building programme was new or extended schools to deal with increasing numbers.

Welcoming the announcement, the Irish National Teachers' Organisation general secretary Sheila Nunan said the union acknowledged there was significant pressure to provide additional school spaces over the coming years with an increased population.

But she said that work could not be done at the cost of leaving existing schools to fall into disrepair. She said Government had a responsibility to ensure that schools were maintained to a modern standard and it made no economic sense to build new schools and extensions while at the same time allowing others to deteriorate.

Irish Independent

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