€50 Million in ICT Funding for Schools - April 2020

Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020

€50 Million of ICT Grant funding has been announced for Schools (22 April 2020), as the fourth installment of the €210 Million the Government have committed to investing under the Digital Strategy for Schools.

 

On 22nd April 2020, the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh T.D., announced €50 Million in ICT Funding for schools. This investment is the fourth instalment of the €210 Million the Government is investing under the Digital Strategy for Schools, and provides the latest update on the previous announcement made on 13th January 2020. Grant funding for the purchase of ICT infrastructure will issue to all eligible primary and post primary schools to enable them to embed the use of digital technology in teaching and learning.

Minister McHugh stated: “At this time it is imperative we go further as a society to support more vulnerable young people. By redirecting funding we are focusing our attention on where it is needed, with a priority on Leaving Certificate students. Combined with an emphasis on wellbeing, this funding will help to give students the tools they need to succeed. Schools know their students best. So they are being empowered to support those who most need access to technology, with the right equipment. Schools are being asked to prioritise exam classes, and then to look at where else access to technology is most needed. I am confident this will make a real difference to thousands of students and provide the technology they need to be able to access online supports.”

The link to the 22nd April 2020 Press Release is here:

€40 Million to issue as a grant to schools. (Circular 0031/2020)

Information on the background to this scheme for this €40 Million, the rates and eligibility for this funding, is set out in the circular. Schools are not required to apply for this ICT grant. Schools can prioritise spending plans for this grant, if required, to address ICT needs identified in the context of the current public health crisis which has required schools to be closed. This can include the purchase of ICT devices that can be shared with students who do not have access to devices to enable the continuity of learning during the public health crisis.  The link to the circular is here:

€10 Million to issue to schools (Circular 0032/2020)

A further €10 Million in funding will be distributed to eligible schools to support ICT requirements and assist schools in their efforts for continuity of learning to support students at risk of educational disadvantage arising from the COVID-19 closures. Schools are not required to apply for this ICT grant. This circular provides information concerning the issue the Grant. This funding, has been brought forward due to current school closures under the public health emergency, and will issue automatically to eligible schools. The link to the circular is here:

Support available under the Digital Strategy for Schools include a Digital Learning Framework to assist schools in their efforts to embed the use of digital technologies in teaching, learning and assessment. An updated resource for e-learning planning has also been made available to schools to assist in developing and enhancing schools’ Digital Learning Plans, called Digital Learning Planning Guidelines. Further information on planning can be found http://www.pdsttechnologyineducation.ie/en/Planning and https://www.dlplanning.ie/

Advice on ICT Equipment/Infrastructure:

For information on purchasing ICT equipment/infrastructure click here:

If schools need advice on ICT equipment or infrastructure, please email us at ictadvice@pdst.ie