Wednesday 4 August 2021
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Contact Details T: 086 8903154 Email : oshea_jp@hotmail.com

Department of Education Announces €50m ICT Grant Funding for all Primary and Post-Primary Schools – Cork Schools to get €5.7m

Department of Education Announces €50m ICT Grant Funding for all Primary and Post-Primary Schools – Cork Schools to get €5.7m

North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea has today welcomed the announcement by the Department of Education that €50 million in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Grants for primary and post-primary schools is to be paid in early December, 2020.

Cork Schools are to receive more than €5.7m. 375 Primary Schools & 80 Post Primary Schools will share this funding.

The €50 million payments involve:

  • 40m ICT Grant funding issued to all eligible schools in line with previous years, to support the embedding of the use of digital technologies in teaching and learning
  • 10m for measures to provide for the continuity of teaching and learning using digital technology

The Department’s capital budget was increased in 2020 to facilitate the payment of these grants in December 2020.

Cllr O’Shea said: “This funding, including €10m for Covid-19 specific measures, will allow schools to put in place robust systems to enable the use of digital technologies within the school, and also provide for remote learning. Those measures can include the purchase of digital devices to loan to students and teachers, software, essential learning platforms and other ICT solutions as determined by the needs of the individual school. It will be paid on an automatic basis to every recognised school in the country.

Cllr. O’Shea added “There is little doubt that the potential and importance of digital learning and the use of digital technologies has come into sharper focus in light of recent experiences. Digital learning is an essential component of a modern curriculum, and this funding will help schools to equip their students with the skills and competencies they will need to thrive.

This year’s extended period of school closure has served to underscore the immense value of education and its power in our children and young people’s lives. Investment in education is one of this government’s top priorities. I am delighted to see this funding announced today to assist schools to support their digital technology programmes, as well as broader teaching and learning” concluded Cllr. O’Shea.

Additional Information:

This funding is the final tranche of the overall package of funding (€210m) for ICT infrastructure as provided for under the Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020. €160m has already issued, including €50m issued earlier this year in respect of the 2019-2020 school year. These grants will issue automatically to all schools during the first week in December.

Rates of payment

Schools opened prior to the 2017 calendar year or in school buildings built prior to the 2017 calendar year, are eligible for all of this funding, including the €10m top up funding. Schools opened or in buildings delivered from 2017 on receive grants from the €10m top up funding only, as new schools and new school buildings receive once-off ICT equipment funding as part of the Furniture and Equipment grant.

Fee charging schools receive funding at 50% rate from the €40m in funding.

The €10m top up funding issues as a lump sum based on school size, and will issue with the €40m ICT Grant so eligible schools will receive one payment to their accounts only.

Strand 1 – €40 million

Primary and Special Schools

Indicative Grant Figures
Pupil Numbers Lump sum Per capita Total DEIS DEIS Total
10 2,000 303 2,303 332.75 2,332.75
50 2,000 1,513 3,513 1,663.75 3,663.75
100 2,000 3,025 5,025 3,327.50 5,327.50
500 2,000 15,125 17,125 16,637.50 18,637.50
1000 2,000 30,250 32,250 33,275.00 35,275.00

Post-Primary Schools

Indicative Grant Figures
Pupil Numbers Lump sum Per capita Total DEIS DEIS Total
50 2,000 2,162.88 4,162.875 2,379.16 4,379.16
100 2,000 4,325.75 6,325.75 4,758.33 6,758.33
500 2,000 21,628.75 23,628.75 23,791.63 25,791.63
1000 2,000 43,257.5 45,257.5 47,583.25 49,583.25

Strand 2 – €10 million Top up rates

Primary and Special Primary Schools

Enrolment Roles Non-DEIS rate DEIS Rate
99 550 600
100-249 950 1,000
250-499 1,400 1,500
500-749 1,900 2,100
750 plus 2,700 3,000

 

Post-Primary Schools

Enrolment Roles Non-DEIS rate DEIS Rate
249 2,600 2,900
250-499 7,100 7,900
500-749 13,250 14,600
750 plus 17,300 19,100

 

Broadly speaking, the grants allow for:

  • continuity of learning which must be supported in all schools. The top up €10m also provides ICT funding for new schools/new builds, as that category is excluded from the €40m funding (per the terms outlined in the ICT circular).
  • schools to implement the new ICT circular which requires all school to have a digital learning platform for contingency reasons. This will be likely to require more funding at primary level given that all post-primary schools have platforms in place and are at a more advanced stage of development in this area.
  • to provide an additional top-up for DEIS schools to meet additional challenges to support their learners
  • There have been a number of government strategies and initiatives over the last two decades to encourage and promote the effective use of digital technologies in teaching and learning. The Department of Education’s current policy in this area is reflected in the Digital Strategy for Schools, Enhancing Teaching, Learning and Assessment 2015-2020 which is in its final year of implementation. The strategy promotes the embedding of digital technologies in all classroom and school activity so that the use of digital technology becomes a seamless part of the whole education experience
  • This strategy builds on previous strategies and incorporates education reform over recent years. Its aim is to help young people become active learners and supports the development of 21st Century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication and digital literacy.
  • The strategy is built around four themes: Teaching, Learning and Assessment using ICTTeacher Professional Development; Leadership, Research and Policy; ICT Infrastructure and sets out a programme to embed digital technologies in the learning experience of our pupils/students in primary and post-primary schools.
  • Schools opened prior to the 2017 calendar year or in school buildings built prior to the 2017 calendar year, are eligible for all of this funding, including the €10m top up funding. Schools opened or in buildings delivered from 2017 on receive grants from the €10m top up funding only.

This is because new schools and new school buildings receive one-off ICT equipment grant as part of the Furniture and Equipment funding provided to new schools/new builds.

  • Fee charging schools receive funding at a rate of 50 per cent rate from the €40m in funding, but do not receive grants under the €10m top up funding, as the latter is intended to support Covid-specific interventions, in particular where disadvantage may be a barrier to accessing remote learning.