Minister for Education Richard Bruton has today announced that primary schools across the country are to benefit from the 2017/18 tranche of Minor Works Grants which will be paid out next week – meaning Ardee schools are set to pocket a sizeable €40,000 for important work in their buildings and on their grounds.
In total, €28.8 million is set to be paid out to primary schools nationwide in the funding. All primary schools will receive a flat Minor Works Grant rate of €5,500. Each school will then receive €18.50 per mainstream pupil plus €74 per special needs pupil.
Grants can be used for improvements to school buildings and grounds, improvement or replacement of mechanical and electrical services, the purchase of standard furniture and physical education equipment, the purchase of floor coverings and window blinds, and the purchase of IT related equipment.
75 primary schools in Louth will receive this funding and 3,248 nationwide will be benefit. The grant is issued directly to primary school sector each school to carry out minor works without needing to deal directly with the Department.
Ballapousta National School, as they did last year, are in line to receive just under €10,000. In town, the Boys School, with 268 pupils, will receive around €10,500. Scoiul Muire na Trocaire will receive a similar sum, again in the region of €10,500.
Ardee Educate Together, based on 2016/17 numbers, qualify for around €8,700.
Minister Bruton also confirmed today that going forward, it will be January 2019 before the funding available for the 2018/19 Minor Works Grant can be determined. The Minister said primary schools wish to have more certainty with regard to the availability of the money on an annual basis.
He said the matter will be reviewed in the context of the Department’s long term infrastructural planning and the level of resources available under the Government’s 10 Year Public Capital Investment Plan, which is currently under development.
“I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the excellent work done by Boards of Management and school principals in using the Minor Works Grant effectively to improve school infrastructure and upgrade the furniture and equipment available for teaching and learning,” Minister Bruton said in a statement.
Speaking today, Louth TD Fergus O’Dowd said, “Many of the local primary schools have been in contact with me to highlight their need for the grant to be sanctioned before the end of the 2017 year, I’m delighted that these will now be paid. Over recent weeks the importance of these grants were communicated to me and I know my colleague Minister Bruton prioritised the issue to be complete by the end of the current financial year.”