Schools that are in serious financial difficulty and won’t receive the full investment they need now deserve to know that the schemes will be open again next year.

John Curran T.D. has called on the Minister for Education Joe McHugh to make a firm commitment to permanently reinstating the Summer Works Scheme for schools. Deputy Curran was commenting after receiving a Parliamentary reply on the issue; “I welcome the announcement that the School Summer Works Scheme is to go ahead for 2019. Many schools will benefit from long-overdue minor works during the summer months. However; Schools that are in serious financial difficulty and won’t receive the full investment they need now deserve to know that the schemes will be open again next year. “This scheme, along with the Minor Works Grant, was suspended in previous years and only last year in 2018 there was no Summer Works Scheme; this left many schools that depend on these modest supports for essential maintenance works crippled by debt,” said Deputy Curran.
“I welcome the fact that Minister McHugh has finally realised the impact that suspension has had on schools across the country.  It will come as a welcome relief that many cash-strapped schools, who have waited for support from Minister McHugh’s Department, may now get some much needed investment.”In order for schools to plan projects and minor works that are essential to the up keep of their school buildings, the Government must show a willingness to commit to reinstate these vital supports in the long-term. “Because all schools have been denied access to this scheme in 2018, there is the potential for major backlog in the number of schools that urgently need investment for essential works. We need a firm commitment from Minister Mc Hugh that the schemes will be reinstated permanently to allow schools to plan for the following years application process. “I am calling on the Minister to commit to keeping the Summer Works Scheme and Minor Works Grant as a permanent source of funding for all schools, he must make this commitment now,” concluded Deputy Curran.