Minister Bruton Starts Internet Safety Week by Investing €30m in ICT Equipment for Schools

In Education, News by Denis Naughten

Schools will receive grant of up to €33,000 to purchase key enabling technology

Funding for tablets, cloud technology, projectors

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D., announced today, the start of Internet Safety Week, that he is investing €30m in ICT infrastructure for primary and post-primary schools.

Thousands of primary and post primary schools around the country will receive a grant to purchase equipment which will enable them to integrate digital technology in teaching and learning.

The grant, which will be received by all schools built after 2014, is allocated according to the size of the school plus a standard lump sum amount, is worth in excess of €4,100 for a 100 pupil school and almost €13,000 for a 500 pupil school at primary level. At post-primary level, the Minister said that the grant is worth almost €18,000 for a 500 student school, and over €33,000 for a 1,000 student school. Note – schools built since 2014 would have received funding for ICT infrastructure upon set up.

All schools are supported in having a Digital Learning Plan in place, which details the integration of new technologies in the teaching and learning of the school. It is expected that the infrastructure purchased with this grant will align with the objectives set out in a school’s Digital Learning Plan, some examples of what the funding can be spent on include:

  • Desktop PCs, laptops, tablets or hybrid devices.
  • Projectors
  • Cloud based tools and software applications to support learning.
  • Learning platforms – these are generally cloud based applications used to support the teaching and learning process.

Today’s investment is the second instalment of the €210m the Government have committed to investing in ICT infrastructure for schools and fulfils a commitment in the Action Plan for Education, which aims to make the Irish education system the best in Europe by 2026.

Making the announcement, Minister Bruton said:

“Digital technology can transform the way people learn, encouraging curiosity, exploration and creative thinking. These are the capabilities our young people will need in the future.

“Critical, creative thinking, problem solving skills and adaptability will be key to flourishing in this environment and we need to make sure our young people are well prepared.

“Our Digital Strategy for Schools sets out a clear vision that is focussed on realising the potential of digital technologies to transform the learning experiences of students. While we are introducing coding and computer science into the curriculum, we must also invest in the ICT infrastructure of our schools.

“That is why we are continuing our commitment to underpin the implementation of the Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 through investing €210m in funding for schools. The €30m in funding to issue to schools over the coming weeks represent the second release of that funding, and together with the other supports being made available to schools – the Digital Learning Framework and Digital Learning Planning Resource – will enable schools to fully embrace that vision.

“We are exploring the possibility of top slicing some of the remaining funding from the €210m to target schools who undertake to engage with innovative practice and cost effective networks of delivery in future years. I will ask my Digital Implementation Group to consider and advise on this further over the coming months.

“We also want to encourage and support real innovation in teaching, learning and assessment, and schools working together to achieve those aims. The Schools Excellence Fund is a vehicle to enable this, and the recently announced Schools Excellence Fund – Digital programme, also with funding for schools, is one of the Government’s further initiatives in the area.”

Primary (incl. community & special schools)
County Amount No. of schools
Carlow €255,963 43
Cavan €360,263 75
Clare €531,454 115
Cork €2,058,960 349
Donegal €784,179 177
Dublin €3,902,402 470
Galway €1,080,202 228
Kerry €607,268 132
Kildare €824,353 99
Kilkenny €387,696 76
Laois €368,974 65
Leitrim €154,019 37
Limerick €774,096 140
Longford €195,689 38
Louth €501,727 72
Mayo €655,631 166
Meath €746,091 109
Monaghan €291,555 62
Offaly €342,843 67
Roscommon €346,964 90
Sligo €305,214 69
Tipperary €733,727 157
Waterford €445,262 72
Westmeath €389,978 75
Wexford €618,565 104
Wicklow €540,548 81