03 May, 2017 - Minister Bruton announces that 438 schools will receive €47 million for vital school improvements

Summer Works Scheme Part of €500m Education Capital Investment Plan

The Minister for Education and Skills, Mr. Richard Bruton T.D., today (Wednesday) announced that €47 Million would be provided by the Department of Education and Skills, through the summer works scheme, to provide for major improvements in primary and post primary schools.

“My Department will provide funding of €47 million through the Summer Works Scheme which will provide for major improvements in primary and post primary schools around the country,” said the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D.  Announcing the list of successful applicants, the Minister said “I am very pleased to be able to make this funding available, which will benefit 438 schools nationwide.”

He continued, “This investment will see the allocation of €47million for vital school projects which aim to upgrade mechanical, sanitation and roofs in school buildings.  These works will be carried out in these schools mainly over the Summer months, so the disruption to students, teachers and other school staff will be kept to a minimum. 

329 of the schools which will benefit from this round of funding are primary schools, while 109 are post primary schools. 

The capacity of schools to take responsibility for delivering small and medium-scale projects is a key component of the Summer Works Scheme. “I am confident that school authorities will be able to achieve best value for money on prices for jobs, and I call on schools to ensure that they maximise the benefit to their schools of the works sanctioned,” said the Minister. 

“The Action Plan for Education, which aims to make the Irish education and training service the best in Europe within a decade, puts a big priority on investment in school educational infrastructure.  Today’s announcement confirms the Government’s continuing prioritisation of capital funding for school buildings which will enhance the learning and working environment for pupils and teachers. In 2017, the Department of Education will invest almost half a billion euro in school infrastructure.” 

The Department’s Planning and Building Unit will be in contact shortly with all schools approved for grant aid under this year's Summer Works Scheme with further details and instructions on how to proceed.

This year, almost €500 million will be invested in school building infrastructure under the school building and modernisation programme. 

ENDS

Editor’s Note:

A full list of the successful schools is available at this link:  Summer Works Scheme 2016-2017 - Round 2 Projects.pdf

The Summer Works Scheme (SWS) is designed to allow schools to carry out small and medium scale building works that will improve and upgrade existing school buildings. This scheme is additional to other capital funding schemes that are operated by my Department such as the additional accommodation scheme, Emergency Works scheme i.e. for projects of such urgency that they would prevent some or all of the school from opening, and Minor Works schemes.  The current SWS was announced in late 2015 and is being applied on a multi-annual basis for the years 2016 and 2017. 

Applications from over 1,650 schools were received in response to a call for proposals in November 2015 from schools under the multi-annual SWS (2016 and 2017).

Circular Letter (0055/2015) governing the scheme, which may be accessed on the Department’s website, states that applications would be prioritised in the following categories: 

Priority/Category 1:                Gas Works

Priority/Category 2:                Electrical Works

Priority/Category 3:                Mechanical works

Priority/Category 4:                Projects to facilitate inclusion and access for special needs pupils are now funded under the Emergency Works scheme)

Priority/Category 5:                 Toilet facilities

Priority/Category 6:                 Roof works

Priority/Category 7:                 Window projects

Priority/Category 8:                 Curricular requirement projects

Priority/Category 9:                 Other structural improvements

Priority/Category 10:               External environment projects

Following this announcement, almost €80 million will have been approved in respect of 635 schools in respect of Categories 1 to 6.  (933 school applications were received in respect of these categories.)  

A total of 197 projects, with a total projected expenditure of almost €30 million, were approved in April 2016  in respect of Categories 1 and 2 (Gas improvement works and Electrical upgrades) and are published on the Department's website, www.education.ie - Summer Works