30 September 2013 - Restoration of Maintenance Grants Crucial To Schools’ Survival

The policy of withdrawing maintenance grants from schools will prove detrimental to the fabric of school buildings. Even a new building requires regular maintenance and failure to do so only postpones the inevitable.

Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) has recently reported in its pre-budget submission to the Department that many primary schools across the island of Ireland are gradually falling into disrepair due to the fact that the Minor Works Grant and the Summer Works Scheme were discontinued in recent education cutbacks.

 

IPPN believes that the value gained from the hundreds of millions invested in the school building programme over the last 20 years will be lost if school buildings are not maintained and merely allowed fall into disrepair.

IPPN is calling on Minister Quinn to publicly show his commitment towards enabling Ireland to regain its place amongst “a world class education system” by putting proper support and infrastructure in place.

Many primary schools throughout the country are now in need of minor repairs but simply have not got the funds in their school accounts to proceed with repair work, some of which has health and safety implications.

IPPN President, Mr. Brendan Mc Cabe recently stated, “while the Department of Education and Skills invest millions every year in the School Building Programme, most of this funding is earmarked for large scale building projects and the smaller maintenance projects are left unfunded and subsequently delayed or cancelled with serious consequences for the schools affected”.

“Even the Emergency Works Grant, which is available to schools requiring emergency funding, is quite difficult to secure. As a result, schools are forced to fundraise or redirect funds allocated for day-to-day running costs”, stated Mr. Mc Cabe.

Seán Cottrell, Executive Director of IPPN, added that “it makes economic since to maintain assets, which otherwise fall into disrepair and require further capital investment in years to come. A stitch in time saves nine – a wisdom that still rings true, but seemingly not in the Department of Education”.

IPPN urges the Minister for Education and Skills to restore the Minor and Summer Works Scheme in the forthcoming budget to enable schools to properly maintain school buildings. IPPN believes that this could go a long way towards rebuilding confidence in school communities nationwide.

Ends

 

 

For further information contact:

Claire O’Donovan, Press Officer

Phone: 1890 21 22 23

Email: claire.odonovan@ippn.ie

Irish Primary Principals’ Network

www.ippn.ie

 

 

 

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