Educate Together welcomes today’s announcement
by the Department of Education and Skills of a number of measures to assist the implementation of the Action Plan for Education under Project 2040, the government’s €116 billion investment and development plan for the next decade.
The package of measures includes:
- Increasing the school building budget by 70% over the next ten years. This will be targeted at delivering on the twin objectives of catering for the continued increase in demographics and a greater focus on refurbishment and upgrade of existing school stock.
- All primary schools will receive the €29 million minor works grant in either December or early January of each school year.
- Better lead in periods for the Summer Works Scheme. The Summer Works Scheme in 2019 will focus on the remaining categories of projects from the previous scheme.
- A new Summer Works Scheme will open for applications in early 2019 for projects to be delivered from Summer 2020 onwards.
- €420 million investment in the Digital Strategy for Schools to embed technology and digital learning and underpin new subjects including computer science at leaving cert and coding throughout the curriculum.
School facilities will also be upgraded:
- Summer Works Scheme will facilitate a school laboratory modernisation programme open for application in 2019.
- Prefab Replacement Scheme through the replacement of prefabs as part of large-scale projects or as part of new projects approved under the Additional Accommodation Scheme.
- Commencement and progression of a deep energy retrofit of primary and post-primary schools built prior to 2008 with a view to optimum energy use and conservation in school buildings.
- PE Hall build and modernisation programme, starting in the second half of the Project Ireland 2040 period, to ensure that students in all post-primary schools have access to state of the art facilities to support PE provision
Said Paul Rowe, CEO of Educate Together:
“Educate Together is pleased to see a wide-ranging package of measures that will surely improve the daily life of our school communities. It is encouraging to see such investment in both new builds and the upgrading of existing buildings. We sincerely hope that the Department of Education will plan effectively so that new schools can open in their new and permanent buildings rather than languishing in temporary and prefab accommodation for years. Educate Together looks forward to the day when children are educated in acceptable accommodation with access to adequate science, sports and ICT facilities. It is no less than they deserve. “