€50m in ICT grant funding for schools

Minister announces fourth year of funding under Project Ireland 2040 which takes total spend on Digital Strategy for Schools ICT Infrastructure Fund to €160m All schools will receive grants to purchase key technology such as tablets, cloud systems, projectors

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. has today announced a further €50million investment in ICT infrastructure for all primary and post-primary schools.

The funding can be spent on technology including:

  • Desktop PCs, laptops, tablets or hybrid devices
  • Projectors
  • Cloud based tools and software applications to support learning

The Government’s total investment in the Project Ireland 2040 scheme will total €160m to date when all schools draw down their entitlements.

The €50m for 2020 is the fourth installment under the Digital Strategy in Schools to support investment in ICT infrastructure for schools.

Minister McHugh said: “Today’s announcement reaffirms our commitment to ensuring that all of our schools are equipped with top quality ICT infrastructure.

“This investment will allow schools to purchase critical equipment such as PCs, laptops and tablets and it goes hand in hand with other supports for schools such as the Digital Learning Framework and Digital Learning Planning Resource to enable schools to fully embrace and embed digital technologies in their work.”

The €50m fourth tranche of funding is to be allocated in two ways:

– €40m allocated to all primary and post primary schools, with grants based standard lump sum plus a rate based on enrolment numbers.
– €10m to be allocated to schools which apply for additional funding supports and demonstrate evidence of effective embedding of digital technologies and Digital Learning Planning.

The announcement of the scheme in January ensures the €40m grant funding will issue automatically before the end of March.

For primary schools it is worth around €5,000 for a school with 100 pupils and up to €18,000 for a school with 500 pupils.

At post-primary, a 500 student school is in line for almost €22,000 and for a school with 1,000 students it will be worth €41,000.

In the first three tranches of the ICT grant a primary school with 100 pupils would have received €14,000 and a primary school with 500 pupils €46,000.

At post primary, the first three payments were worth €60,000 for a school with 500 students and €112,000 for a school with 1,000 pupils.

Minister McHugh said: “Ensuring earlier allocation of such an important grant will help school principals, teachers and staff with strong technology skills to plan for the best way to make use of the funding.”

Details of how schools can apply for the €10m additional fund will be confirmed before the end of the school year.

A circular with full details for schools, including the application process will be published shortly.

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