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 two 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 is brought forward to August.

(b)   An Enhanced Minor Works Grant, which matches (a). This will also be paid in August.

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 will apply to PPP schools, and a communication to those schools will issue separately.

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 reopeningschools@education.gov.ie

Post Primary Schools

To support schools in their work on the full implementation of COVID-19 Response Plan, a once-off minor works grant will issue to all schools in the free scheme by mid-August calculated as follows:

(a)  €10,000 basic grant plus €100 per mainstream student and €400 per student in special classes on the rolls on the 30th September 2019.

There is no application process associated with this grant, and will it issue directly to all schools in the free scheme in one payment no later than mid-August. Different arrangements will apply to PPP schools, and a communication to those schools will issue separately.

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 reopeningschools@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 an 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 reopeningschools@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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