Belfast Telegraph

Over £2.3million investment in the schools estate during August

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Education

During the month of August, over £2.3million was earmarked for investment in schools under the minor works scheme.

Speaking about the investment today, Education Minister, John O’Dowd said: “One of my top priorities is raising educational standards and I am confident that ongoing investment in the minor works programmes will help achieve this. I am committed to investing in areas which I believe will have a positive impact on children, young people and the wider education sector.

“My Department reviews and approves minor works applications on an ongoing basis, with investment in this area amounting to over £27million since January this year.

“In addition to the positive impact on pupils, teachers and school staff the investment also provides a much needed boost to the construction industry at what are still challenging times for local firms.”

Minor works contracts awarded during August include electrical rewiring and heating replacement at Currie Primary School in Belfast; additional car parking at Thornhill College in Derry; security fencing at St Paul’s College in Kilrea; and special needs adaptations and disabled access at St Louis Grammar, Kilkeel.

The Minister continued by highlighting the additional funding for schools’ maintenance. He said: “I recently announced a boost of £10million for schools’ maintenance. This additional funding brings the total allocation for maintenance to £47million for this financial year. Whilst this is good news for schools, there is a need for continuing investment and it is essential we put in place a sustained and substantial investment programme for the future.”

In conclusion the Minister said: “Education continues to face tough financial conditions but I recognise the challenges that exist within the schools estate and I am committed to using resources at my disposal to support teaching and learning in schools. The completion 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.”

Notes to editors:

1. Since last summer 40 new school building projects have been given approval to proceed representing a potential investment of £353million.

2. 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. Visit http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/education-works for more information.

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

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

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