Belfast Telegraph

Over £18million investment in schools estate in February and March

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Education

Schools across the north will benefit from more than £18million investment in the coming months under the Department of Education’s minor works scheme.

Speaking about the investment, Education Minister John O’Dowd said: “During February and March this year, a total of 119 minor works projects amounting to over £18million were agreed across all board areas. This investment will enable improvements to be carried out across the schools estate, positively impacting on pupils, teachers and school staff.”

Minor works are projects ranging from minor repair to more significant work projects and extensions. Investment includes over £1.5million funding for work to be carried out at John Paul II Primary School; over £1million for work at Little Flower Girls School; £750,000 for heating installation and roof repairs at Victoria College and almost £200,000 for a new fire alarm system at Oakwood Special School.

In March, the Minister also announced potential investment of £134million under the School Enhancement Programme. He said: “The programme will ensure the schools benefit from refurbishment or extension projects, each valued between £500,000 and £4million. The investment will help improve existing facilities and enable structural changes in the successful schools.”

In conclusion the Minister said: “I am confident that the substantial investment in minor works projects will help in the drive to improve educational standards. The completion of all of these works will ultimately provide better facilities for our children and young people to learn in and an improved working environment for teachers and other school staff. This ongoing significant investment also provides a boost to our local construction industry, helping to sustain jobs.”

Notes to editors:

1. Minor works by Board area – BELB £12million; SEELB £500,000; WELB £2million; NEELB £1.8million and SELB £2million.

2. Minor works are projects less than £500,000 (excl. VAT).

3. Schemes for controlled schools and school meals accommodation in Maintained schools are administered by the ELBs. Schemes for Maintained (other than school meals accommodation), Voluntary Grammar, Grant Maintained Integrated and Irish-medium schools are processed and administered by the Department of Education.

4. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visithttp://www.nidirect.gov.uk/education-works for more information.

Watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/thedeptofeducation

5. See photos from the Department of Education in our collection at http://www.flickr.com/niexecutive

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