24 Donegal schools benefit as part of Summer Works Scheme

An increase on last year - Minister McHugh

24 Donegal schools benefit as part of Summer Works Scheme

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh has today, Monday, November 25 announced 24 schools in Donegal are benefitting under funding investment for improved life safety standards, car parks and play areas.

The list of Donegal schools is as follows: Kilbarron NS, Belleek Road, Ballyshannon; Gartan NS, Gartan, Letterkenny; Scoil Cholmcille, An Tearmann; St Mary's National School, Castlefinn; SN An Drom Mor, An Droim Mór, Killygordon; St Oran's NS, Buncrana; SN An Bhreacaigh, Ard a Rathsa; Scoil Naomh Colmcille, Craigtown, Carndonagh; SN Naomh Colmchille
Drumoghill, Manorcunningham; SN Seiseadh Ui Neill, Sessiaghoneill, Ballybofey; Scoil Treasa, Drumcarbit, Malin; Scoil Naomh Chaitriona, College Street, Ballyshannon; SN Olibhear Pluinceid, Rann na Feirste, Anagaire; Scoil Náisiúnta Muire Gan Smál, Townparks
Lifford; Naomh Adhamhnain, Laghey; Scoil Naomh Earnan, Lisminton, Ballintra; SN Naomh Aonghus, Bunnmayne, Bridgend; SN Baile Raighin, Letterkenny; Scoil Mhuire, Ramelton; St Macartan's Central, Bundoran; Scoil Mhuire, Glenties; Crana College, Crana Road, Buncrana; Coláiste na Carraige, Carrick and Deele College, Raphoe.

The minister also outlined how part of the Summer Works Scheme 2020 contains a new climate action focus.

“The Summer Works Scheme make real differences and has huge benefits for schools year in year out and this year is no different,” Minister McHugh said.

“A total of 24 schools in Donegal are able to make improvements to their grounds and facilities thanks to the special package that has been put together this year. That is an increase on last year when 20 schools in the county benefited from the scheme.

“And the Government is using the investment to focus on three fronts – we have prioritised money to upgrade and improve life safety systems, like fire alarms and detection and emergency lighting; we are funding new surfaces on play areas and car parks; and schools will be obliged to plan for electric vehicle charging.”

The Donegal list contains three post primary schools with the remainder all primary schools.

Seven of the 24 schools on the Summer Works list will be using the funding to upgrade and improve life safety systems while the remainder will be focusing on improving the grounds of the schools at car parks, yards and play areas.

The Summer Works Scheme is a €30m package for 2020 with 405 schools benefitting nationwide – more than one tenth of all schools in the country.

The climate action initiative in the 2020 scheme is to ensure schools future proof for electric vehicles.

Any school which receives funding for car parking and play areas will be required to identify a point for electric vehicle charging. The funding will allow for specialist electric ducting under play and car parking areas in order to ensure resurfaced areas are not dug up in the future.

Minister McHugh said: “The climate action element of next year’s summer works is a sensible plan for the future. More and more electric charging points are coming on stream and it is symbolic that schools will be demonstrating how important initiatives like this are.

“The work will be carried out in schools mainly over the summer months, so the disruption to students, teachers and other staff will be kept to a minimum.

“We have also made sure that schools are getting the notification several weeks earlier than last year to try to give principals and boards of management a better lead-in time to plan and then get the work done.

“The €70 million investment for 2019 and 2020 is helping more than 700 schools to improve their facilities.”

Projects allocated funding under the 2020 Summer Works Scheme relate to applications submitted by schools in category 10 from the Summer Works Scheme 2016/17 and category 1 from Summer Works Summer 2020 onwards.

“Summer Works is a significant undertaking for schools and their hard work planning and preparing is a key component in its success,” Minister McHugh said.

“I am confident that school authorities will be able to achieve best value for money on prices for jobs and I’m urging school authorities to ensure that they get the maximum benefit for their schools.

“The Summer Works grants follow on from Minor Works grants of €29 million that I announced two weeks ago which works out at €6,425 for a 50-pupil school and more than €11,000 for a school with 300 pupils.”

Schools are now required by legislation to report their energy use annually online through the Sustainable Energy Association of Ireland.

As part of the Government’s Climate Action Plan, schools applying for Summer Works projects post 2020 will be required to register online with the SEAI, and commit to submit the appropriate returns, before any payments can issue in respect of the approved projects.

Under Project Ireland 2040, the education sector will receive approximately €12 billion from 2018 to 2027. This includes some €8.8 billion for the schools sector.

Minister McHugh said: “The €30 million Summer Works Scheme demonstrates that the Government is continuing to prioritise capital funding for school buildings which will enhance the learning and working environment for pupils and teachers and also responding to the need for enhanced climate action.”

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