5 December 2017
By Bryan Smyth
Tanaiste and Fine Gael Minister Simon Coveney has announced that funding has been granted to Cork primary schools under the Minor Works Scheme.
“My Fine Gael colleague, the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, has confirmed to me that the Minor Works Grant will be paid to all primary schools throughout the country next week.
“Schoolchildren in Cork are set to benefit from this Government funding; all 356 primary schools are to receive the grant. They will receive a flat rate Minor Works Grant of €5,500 plus €18.50 per mainstream pupil and €74 per special needs pupil attending a special school or special class. The grant is worth €6,425 for a 50 pupil school and over €11,000 for a 300 pupil school.
“I know that our local schools really depend on this grant. The funds 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.”
Speaking at the announcement, Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton said: “The demographic pressures at both primary and post-primary level mean that our school building programme must continue to focus on delivering additional school places.
“In 2017, we have successfully delivered nearly 19,000 permanent school places, of which more than 13,000 are additional places, with the completion of 46 major school building projects.
“Looking ahead to 2018, the building programme will continue to be challenged to ensure the availability of a school place for every child. In these circumstances, it will be late next year or January 2019 before we are in a position to determine the prospects of a 2018/2019 Minor Works Grant.”
Minister Coveney said, “Fine Gael is working in Government to strengthen communities and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to succeed. Ensuring that our children are learning in a quality environment is a major part of this. This grant will go a long way towards improving the physical condition of our school buildings to the benefit of both pupils and the teachers who work there.
“Furthermore I know from talking to teachers and principals across Cork that primary schools need more certainty with regard to the availability of the Minor Works Grant on an annual basis. I am pleased to hear Minister Bryton confirm that this 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. This will allow schools to plan better for the future.”