The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, has announced the opening of the application process for a new multi-annual Summer Works Scheme, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
The scheme is backed by funding of more than €100 million as part of Project Ireland 2040 to enable school authorities to carry out small and medium scale works to improve and upgrade existing school buildings and facilities.
Senator Kieran O’Donnell said: “This local investment is part of an overall allocation of €100 million for vital school projects around the country.
“Works will be carried out in schools in Limerick over the summer months, so the disruption to students, teachers and other school staff will be kept to a minimum.
“I am pleased to see this year as part of the Government’s Climate Action plan, the Department of Education has changed the Summer Works Scheme to include an obligation on schools to commit to report energy use.
“I am confident that school authorities here in Limerick 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 by my Fine Gael colleague, Education Minister, Joe McHugh.
“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 here in Limerick which will enhance the learning and working environment for pupils and teachers.”
The Summer Works Scheme is designed to allow schools to carry out small and medium scale building works that will improve and upgrade existing school buildings.
The categories of works that can be delivered under the Summer Works Scheme include life safety systems, roof upgrades, electrical and mechanical works, window upgrades, school fabric improvements etc.
Minister Joe McHugh said: “I am pleased to announce the opening of the application process for a new Summer Works Scheme that will apply on a multi-annual basis with more than €100 million funding.
“The Summer Works Scheme is a very important devolved delivery mechanism for enabling upgrading works to be undertaken in existing school buildings through the country. I am particularly pleased that school authorities are being given a longer application period and a better lead-in period for planning and delivering their projects under the scheme.
“Shortly after I was appointed Minister I committed to giving principals and boards of management more time to plan their building and improvement works. Now we are delivering on that promise. This will help to manage the workload of school authorities in delivering their projects.”
Senator Kieran O’Donnell
The Esinet platform that schools currently use to make payroll returns has been extended to facilitate online applications from schools for the Summer Works Scheme. The Esinet system will be open for applications in mid-April 2019 and schools can submit applications up until 30 June 2019.