The Department of Education has today (12 November 2020) announced €55 million in minor works grants for primary and post-primary schools to be paid in early December, 2020.
The €55 million payments involve:
- an additional €25m funding for Covid-19 related Minor Works at post-primary level;
- bringing forward from 2021 the standard €30m minor works grant at primary level.
The Department’s capital budget was increased in 2020 to facilitate the payment of these grants in December 2020. This earlier payment of these grants will also facilitate a strong roll-out of school building projects in 2021.
Minister Foley said: “The payment of the Minor Works Grant is important for any school and this is particularly true of this year, due to the unprecedented COVID-19 situation. The payment of these grants at this stage gives schools a good lead-in period for planning and undertaking works in 2021.”
The minor works grant funding provides good flexibility at local level to assist schools to manage in the Covid environment and to put more sustainable arrangements in place. For example, schools may use this funding to enhance ventilation, purchase furniture or adapt toilet areas. The payment of the grants at this stage gives schools a good lead-in period to plan and undertake works that support the operation of the school in the current school year and assist in catering for capacity and other requirements going into the 2021/22 school year.
The Covid-19 related minor works grant at post-primary level will be paid automatically to schools in the free scheme and on an application basis to fee-charging schools.
In the case of a primary school the minor works grant will consist of a a €5,500 basic grant plus €18.50 per mainstream pupil and €74 per pupil with special needs attending a special school or attending a special class attached to a mainstream school (as of 30 September 2019).
For example, a 60 pupil primary school will receive €6,610 and a 300 pupil school will receive €11,050.
In the case of a post-primary school this will consist of a €10,000 basic grant plus €55 per mainstream student and €220 per student in special classes (as of 30 September 2019).
For example, a 500 student school would receive €37,500 and a 1,000 student school would receive €65,000.
The Minor Works Grant Scheme at primary level sets out a wide range of uses for this grant for implementation on a devolved basis at individual school level. Such uses primarily relate to small-scale improvement works to school buildings and grounds.
This year, minor works grant funding at primary level and this Covid-19 related minor works grant at post-primary level is particularly important in helping schools to manage and operate in a Covid environment and further facilitates schools in areas such as:
- strengthening the arrangements for maximising the capacity of existing school buildings to cater for physical distancing requirements in the current school year and to assist with catering for requirements for the 2021/22 school year;
- enhancing ventilation in classrooms, for example enabling permanent ventilation openings through vent in a wall or in window frame(s) where not currently available in a classroom;
- adapting toilet areas;
- adapting storage facilities;
- purchasing furniture and equipment;
- short-term rental of additional space.
Tables showing payments at primary and post primary based on school sizes