Minor Works Grant

Grant Scheme for Minor Works

Circulars 0045/2020 and 0046/2020 set out the COVID-19 operational supports available to primary and post primary schools to fully and safely reopen in a sustainable way, while minimising risk associated with COVID-19, and should be read in conjunction with the Department’s document ‘The Roadmap for the Full Return to School’.

The Roadmap and the Circulars provide the detail of the new Minor Works Grant to schools to Support Full Implementation of COVID-19 Response Plans, set out below.

Primary Schools

This year, the Minor Work Grant will comprise of three parts:

(a)    The annual Minor Works Grant of €5,500 basic grant plus €18.50 per mainstream pupil and €74 per special needs pupil on the rolls on the 30th September of the year prior to the issue of the grant. (The €74 rate applies to a special needs pupil attending a special school or attending a special class attached to a mainstream school). This grant is typical paid each school year in either December of January, but this year was paid automatically to all schools in July 2020.

(b)   An Enhanced Minor Works Grant, which matches (a). This was paid in August 2020.

In effect this amounts to a doubling of the minor grant paid to schools in 2019. There is no application process associated with this grant, which have now issued directly to all schools in the free scheme in two separate payments. Different arrangements applied to PPP schools, and a communication to those schools issued separately.

(c) The annual Minor Works Grant of €5,500 basic grant plus €18.50 per mainstream pupil and €74 per special needs pupil on the rolls on the 30th September of the year prior to the issue of the grant. (The €74 rate applies to a special needs pupil attending a special school or attending a special class attached to a mainstream school). This grant is typical paid each school year in either December of January, due to the unprecedented Covid 19 situation, early payment of the Minor Works Grant for School year 21/22 will be paid in December 2020 to allow schools a good lead in period for planning and undertaking works in 2021

The principles outlined in Circular 0062/2013 relating to the Grant Scheme for Minor Works to National School Properties, should also be applied by schools in utilising this Grant, with schools having the necessary flexibility to implement necessary reconfiguration measures in their school in line with the ‘The Roadmap for the Full Return to School’, public health advice on the reopening of schools and their COVID-19 Response Plan.

The Roadmap for the Full Return to School outlines the potential range of measures necessary to reconfigure schools in a way that enables the implementation of the Roadmap, public health advice and COVID-19 Response Plans for Schools. These measures necessary to enable the full return to school may include, but are not limited to, reconfiguration of classroom space, re-purposing rooms to provide additional space, adapting storage facilities, purchasing furniture, altering desk layouts, adapting toilet areas, short term rental of additional space etc. Given that each school setting is different, individual schools are best placed to decide on the appropriate re-configuration measures for their school necessary to facilitate school re-opening.

In limited circumstances, the Department will consider applications from schools where the extent of necessary re-configuration works to enable full reopening is such that additional funding may be necessary. This will be considered on a case by case basis by the Department and contact should be made with the Department at Covid19_Alert@education.gov.ie.

Post Primary Schools

To support schools in their work on the full implementation of COVID-19 Response Plan, minor works grants issued to all Post Primary schools in the free scheme in August 2020.

The rates were as follows:

€10,000 basic grant plus €100 per mainstream student and €400 per student in special classes on the rolls on the 30th September 2019. In addition €3m was retained as a reserve fund by the Department to assist individual schools that require greater levels of reconfiguration works. Applications have been processed on a case by case basis.

Additional funding for Covid 19 related Minor Works at post primary level will also be issued to schools in the free scheme in December 2020. Fee charging schools are not automatically eligible for this payment. A funding reserve is being retained to deal with exceptional circumstances on an application basis.

The rate of payment is as follows:

€10,000 basic grant plus €55 per mainstream student and €220 per student in special classes on the rolls on the 30th September 2019.

The principles outlined in Circular 0062/2013 relating to the Grant Scheme for Minor Works to National School Properties, should also be applied by schools in utilising this Grant, with schools having the necessary flexibility to implement necessary reconfiguration measures in their school in line with the Roadmap for the full Return to School, public health advice on the reopening of schools and their COVID-19 Response Plan.

The Roadmap for the Full Return to School outlines the potential range of measures necessary to reconfigure schools in a way that enables the implementation of the Roadmap, public health advice and COVID-19 Response Plans for Schools. These measures necessary to enable the full return to school may include, but are not limited to, reconfiguration of classroom space, re-purposing rooms to provide additional space, adapting storage facilities, purchasing furniture, altering desk layouts, adapting toilet areas, short term rental of additional space etc. Given that each school setting is different, individual schools are best placed to decide on the appropriate re-configuration measures for their school necessary to facilitate school re-opening.

In limited circumstances, the Department will consider applications from schools where the extent of necessary re-configuration works to enable full reopening is such that additional funding may be necessary. This will be considered on a case by case basis by the Department and contact should be made with the Department at Covid19_Alert@education.gov.ie.

Schools outside of the Free Scheme

The Department recognises that there may be limited circumstances where schools outside of the Free Scheme, may require some support to implement necessary reconfiguration works envisaged under the Roadmap for the Full Return to School to facilitate re-opening.  

Schools can on exceptional basis seek assistance from the Department for financial supports where there are able to demonstrate particular challenges brought about by the impact of COVID-19 and implementing necessary measures to limit the risk of the spread of infection.

In these circumstances schools will be required to clearly demonstrate their difficulties in implementing necessary control measures and how the provision of additional support would help to overcome those particular difficulties.  Additional supports will only be considered in the context of education provision in the mainstream school; boarding arrangements are a private matter for schools themselves. 

Schools should contact the Department at Covid19_Alert@education.gov.ie if they wish to make an application.  Each application received by the Department will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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