John Paul welcomes additional €70 million for school improvements

Sean Keane

Reporter:

Sean Keane

TWO school improvements funds worth almost €70m will take significant pressure off parents and school boards and will lead to a welcome boom for local tradesmen and women, according to Fine Gael TD, John Paul Phelan.

TWO school improvements funds worth almost €70m will take significant pressure off parents and school boards and will lead to a welcome boom for local tradesmen and women, according to Fine Gael TD, John Paul Phelan.

The 35 year-old welcomed confirmation from the Minister for Education

and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D regarding the allocation of almost €70

million for school improvements.

Over €28 million is being made available as a once-off payment to

primary schools as part of the Minor Works Grant scheme. Another €40

million will be allocated under the Summer Works Scheme 2014 which is

being re-introduced to fund the improvement and upgrading of existing

school buildings. Details of monies allocated for works in the

Kilkenny area is expected shortly.

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, Deputy Phelan said. Schools

typically tend to engage the services of local tradesmen and the work

will be a welcome boost, he said.

The Minor Works Grant will be paid to primary schools in the coming

weeks and will allow schools to complete small scale repair works

without the need to interact with the Department.

“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.

“Funding from the Summer Works Scheme will allow schools to carry out

small and medium scale building works such as gas, electrical and

mechanical works, roof and window upgrades, structural improvements;

works that will improve and upgrade existing school buildings.”

Deputy Phelan said it is up to schools to identify the most urgently

required projects to be funded from the Summer Works Scheme. Each

school across Kilkenny can apply for one small scale project and will

be responsible for the completion of those works.

“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,” Deputy Phelan said.

Schools can apply for these grants online using the Esinet

portal. A Freephone service is also available to assist schools with

queries. It can be contacted at 1800 200 955 daily from 10am to 1pm

and 2pm to 4.30pm from 7th November to 10th December 2013.

Full details on the Summer Works Scheme are available

athttp://www.education.ie/en/The-Department/Re-use-of-Public-Sector-Information/Library/PR13_11_05_file.pdf