386 schools to receive €35 million for vital school improvements

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., has today announced that a further 386 schools across every county in Ireland will be able to undertake school improvements this summer.

More than 101,000 pupils will benefit from the second round of the Summer Works Scheme which aims to upgrade toilets and roofs in primary and secondary schools nationwide.

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Almost €35 million is being provided by the Department of Education and Skills under the second round of funding for the Summer Works Scheme (SWS) 2014.

This follows an announcement in March by Minister Quinn that 386 schools would also receive funding to the tune of almost €36 million to undertake gas, electrical and mechanical works.

Speaking at Rathgar National School in Dublin today, one of the schools who will be receiving funding to upgrade their toilet facilities, Minister Quinn said, “We want to ensure that all of our children are safe, warm and secure in their schools.”

“I have approved the spending of more than €70 million on the Summer Works Scheme in total to allow 772 schools undertake vital improvement works during the summer months when pupils are on holidays in order to minimise any disruption to the schooling.”

“Despite the difficult economic environment, we are continuing to prioritise investment in school buildings which will enhance the learning and working environment for pupils and teachers.”

“The news is also a welcome boost for the construction sector as it should support jobs in the communities in which these schools are situated,” said Minister Quinn.

It is estimated that 4,200 direct and 840 indirect construction jobs will be supported as a result of the SWS scheme.

280 of the schools which will benefit from this round of funding are primary schools, while 106 are post primary schools.  The majority of these will receive the money to refurbish toilets and roofs.  They represent almost 80% of the total applications received from schools.

Some 33 schools, who supplied additional information to the Department following Round 1 of the scheme, will receive money for projects relating to gas, electricity and mechanical works.

As the SWS is an application based scheme, school authorities identify and decide on what project they regard as being a priority to address necessary and immediate works. Schools must then ensure that full and complete applications are submitted in accordance with the scheme.