Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers has called on the Education Minister to explain why no funding has been forthcoming from his Department under the Minor Works Grant Scheme
The funding, which is usually paid in November, has still not been announced.
Deputy Chambers explained, “I have been contacted by a number of school principals who are concerned that funding that they were expecting to help them cover the cost of improvement works and equipment has not yet been allocated. This is putting them in a very precarious situation as they had budgeted for this money but it has not been sanctioned”.
“Minister Bruton has adopted a very laissez faire attitude to this important scheme – saying that he will examine whether there is any spare money in his Department which could be used for the scheme. This would indicate that he thinks this scheme is optional rather than essential”.
“The truth is the Minor Works Grant is a vital funding scheme for schools, and in some cases, especially in smaller schools, makes up around a third of their annual budget. The Minister’s failure to ensure that these grants are paid out is leaving many schools at a severe loss, and parents may be left having to pick up the tab for works”.
“The Minister needs to clarify this situation as a matter of urgency by announcing that funding will be made available”.