03 January, 2017 - Minister Bruton announces ICT infrastructure grants for primary and post-primary schools

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D., today announced he is investing €30m in ICT infrastructure grants for primary and post-primary schools.

Today’s investment marks the start of the implementation of the government’s €210 Million Digital Strategy for Schools.

Announcing the Digital Strategy ICT Infrastructure Grant for 2016/2017, the Minister said he is pleased to confirm that the grant is worth approximately €4,000 for a 100 pupil school and approximately €11,000 for a 500 pupil school at primary level. At post-primary level, the Minister said that the grant is worth circa €15,000 for a 500 student school, and over €27,000 for a 1,000 student school.

The funding will support the development and implementation of an eLearning Plan for each school to embed ICT in teaching and learning.

Some examples of the infrastructure that schools can purchase with this funding are:

  • Teaching computers/shared student computers. These may include desktop PCs, laptops, tablets or hybrid devices.
  • Projectors including short throw or ultra-short throw, long throw, interactive, or interactive flat screens (IFS).
  • Cloud based tools and applications to support learning.
  • Learning platforms – these are generally cloud based applications used to support the teaching and learning process.

Minister Bruton said:

“No matter what career a young person contemplates, there is one thing for sure, digital technology is revolutionising it. We can already see the agents of change – cloud, mobile, social and the internet of things.”

“For the generation of children recently born, creative thinking and problem-solving skills will be absolutely key to how they develop in reach and achieve their potential. In particular, their ability to think critically and develop solutions in the digital world will be vital for their prospects in life.”

“Our Digital Strategy for Schools sets out a clear vision that is focussed on realising the potential of digital technologies to transform the learning experiences of students. While we are introducing coding and computer science into the curriculum, we must also invest in the ICT infrastructure of our schools. That is why we are making €30m in ICT grants available to schools in the coming weeks. In the next five years we will invest €210m in our schools.”

Notes to Editor

The rates payable are €2,000 per school plus €22.20 per mainstream pupil in primary schools, with additional per capita payments for pupils in DEIS schools, Special Classes and Special Schools. At post-primary, the rates payable are €2,000 per school plus €31.90 per student, with an additional per capita payment for students in DEIS schools. The grant is worth approximately €4,000 for a 100 pupil school and approximately €11,000 for a 500 pupil school at primary level. At post-primary level, the grant is worth circa €15,000 for a 500 student school, and over €27,000 for a 1,000 student school.

This is not an exhaustive list, and schools will be advised to consider how best to support an eLearning Plan for their school in allocating this funding. Advice and support for schools will be available from the PDST Technology in Education website: www.pdsttechnologyineducation.ie.

Further information about the terms applying to this funding are available at Circular 0001/2017 - Grant Scheme For ICT Infrastructure – 2016-2017 School Year