Fianna Fáil Senator, Lisa Chambers, has welcomed the emergency funding of €22,000 for Ballintubber National School for refurbishment works. This is in addition to the minor works grant that the school will receive as part of the government’s plan for the full reopening of schools.
“Under the plan €75 million has been allocated to the minor works grant for this year, which will effectively double the amount of money schools would ordinarily receive. The money is to be used to help schools make the necessary changes to cope with opening in a Covid-19 environment. The grant is based on pupil enrolment numbers and for small rural schools with smaller pupil numbers this can be a disadvantage in terms of qualifying for a significant grant amount. I raised this issue directly with the Minister for Education, Norma Foley TD and asked that some flexibility be given to small rural schools who may not have the numbers to qualify for a large grant but still needed to do necessary Covid-19 related works to reopen their school. She has assured me that this flexibility will be present in assessing applications.”
“In the case of Ballintubber National School significant refurbishment works are needed in the toilets and hand washing area which are essential due to the extra hand washing required. I am pleased that the department and the Minister have been able to allocate an additional €22,000 in emergency funding to pay for the cost of these works. I would like to thank Minister Foley for her assistance in securing this extra funding”
“The government is committed to the full reopening of all schools and will do whatever is needed to ensure schools can reopen safely and in time for the new academic year.”