Minor Works Grant
4th December 2014 | News
The Catholic Primary School Management Association (CPSMA) has this morning welcomed Minister Jan O’Sullivan’s announcement that the recently restored Minor Works Grant will continue for the current academic school year.
Welcoming the announcement, Father Tom Deenihan, the General Secretary of the CPSMA, said: ‘The reinstatement of the Minor Works grant provided schools with an opportunity to address outstanding maintenance issues which were financially prohibitive in the absence of this critical funding.’ Many Catholic Primary Schools are, as are schools under different patronages, operating in sub-standard conditions that are neither conducive to teaching and learning or health and Safety. In many cases, local Faith Communities have had to subvent necessary works from the Sunday Mass Collections. These parishes, schools and communities in particular will welcome the Minister’s announcement.
Improvements to school buildings and grounds (replacement of windows, roof repairs, re-surfacing of school yard, plumbing and heating, re-painting and re-decorating, improving insulation standards, replacing furniture and PE equipment, purchasing and maintaining IT equipment etc.) are ongoing issues, and specific funding for the upkeep of school buildings and equipment is essential.
Today’s announcement will come as a relief to Boards of Management of primary schools throughout the country, who are faced with the demands of on-going maintenance of their school buildings.
Further financial difficulties are currently being caused to schools by virtue of the fact that the first part of the Capitation Grant for the school year, 2014-2015, will not be paid until January 2015. Many schools now have no money and are requiring the local parish and Bishop, as Patron, to guarantee loans to keep the schools operational.
The CPSMA, with many other parties, had campaigned for the maintenance of this grant in its pre-budget 2015 submission and the CPSMA is delighted with the announcement and the favourable response from the Minister and her Officials who have engaged fully and in a spirit of partnership with Management, despite the financial restraints that they operate under.
It is hoped this grant will remain for future years.