Minister English welcomes €1,866,495 in ICT funding for Meath and Westmeath schools

Education, Funding, Innovation, Meath, Navan, School extension, Science, Trim, Wesmeath

Meath West Fine Gael T.D. and Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal
Damien English has welcomed the news that Minister for Education and
Skills, Richard Bruton T.D., has today Tuesday 3rd January 2017
announced he will invest €30m in ICT infrastructure grants for all
primary and post-primary schools in the country.

According to Minister English, today’s investment will be worth €1,202,651 to Meath’s 123 primary and post primary schools and €663,844 to the 89 primary and post primary schools in Westmeath. This is a total of €1,866,495 between the 2 counties. No application is necessary and the payments are being made directly into the schools’ accounts.

Minister English stated: “This investment marks the start of the
implementation of the Government’s new €210 Million Digital Strategy
for Schools. This funding will support the development and
implementation of an eLearning Plan for each school to embed ICT into
teaching and learning. No matter what career a young person
contemplates, there is one thing for sure, digital technology is
revolutionising it. We want our young people in Meath West to be leading
this revolution and have the best prospects in life.”

Notes to Editor

The rates payable are €2,000 per school plus €22.20 per mainstream
pupil in primary schools, with additional per capita payments for
pupils in DEIS schools, Special Classes and Special Schools.

At post-primary, the rates payable are €2,000 per school plus €31.90 per
student, with an additional per capita payment for students in DEIS
schools. The grant is worth approximately €4,000 for a 100 pupil
school and approximately €11,000 for a 500 pupil school at primary
level. At post-primary level, the grant is worth circa €15,000 for a
500 student school, and over €27,000 for a 1,000 student school.

This is not an exhaustive list, and schools will be advised to
consider how best to support an eLearning Plan for their school in
allocating this funding. Advice and support for schools will be
available from the PDST Technology in Education website –
www.pdsttechnologyineducation.ie.

Further information about the terms applying to this funding are
available at circular:

http://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0001_2017.pdf

ENDS

3 Meath West schools to receive facilities boost – English

Bohermeen, Education, Meath, Navan, Trim

Meath West Fine Gael T.D. Damien English, the former Junior Education Minister in the last Government and current Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal, has welcome the news that 3 schools in Meath West are to receive extra funding from the Department of Education and Skills under the “Additional Accommodation Scheme”.

Scoil Caitriona Naofa in Oristown is to receive a new mainstream class room, WC for assisted users and a resource room.

St. Ultan’s N.S. Bohermeen is to receive a new mainstream classroom and WC for assisted users.

Scoil Mhuire Secondary School in Trim will see its Central Hall refurbished.

“Education was a key priority of the last Government, and remains so now.  Even in bad times Meath got its fair share of funding and many of our schools were refurbished, renewed or got totally new facilities. This must continue now as we bring about a social recovery that matches our economic recovery.  I was happy to play my part in this work for education in Meath, along with hard working Principals, dedicated voluntary Boards of Management and concerned parents. I welcome the facilities boost that Scoil Caitriona Naofa Oristown, St. Ultan’s N.S. and Schol Mhuire Trim have received, and wish all their staff and pupils well” stated Minister English.

English co-launches Fine Gael’s Early Years Policy

Childcare, Education, Election 2016, Meath, Wesmeath

Monday, 15th February 2016

English co-launches Fine Gael’s Early Years Policy

Local Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation and Meath West Fine
Gael T.D. Damien English co-launched Fine Gael’s Early Years Policy
last week along with Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. James
Reilly.

Speaking at the event Minister English said:

“Ben Franklin once said that an investment in knowledge pays the best
interest.Today Fine Gael is committing to an investment in education,
which I believe will generate a huge return not just to the economy
but the well being and success of our children. As a Minister of State
working in two Departments- Jobs and Education and Skills – I’ve had a
unique opportunity to drive both immediate and long term plans to keep
this recovery going. And I have to say that this recovery isn’t a
given, it isn’t inevitable. It is fragile. And it has not reached
every household yet” Minister English said.

3 Step Plan

“In this election, Fine Gael has a clear proposition – a long term
economic plan with three clear steps that will ensure growth and
stability. Our plan has three steps: Firstly – More and Better Jobs –
creating 200,000 new jobs for 2020. We have already created 135,000.
Secondly – Making Work Pay – As we create more and better jobs, we
must  abolish the USC and provide more childcare options  (as James
has already outlined)
Thirdly, we want to use the resources generated from a strong economy
to invest sensibly and strategically in our public services. If we
have more people in work, more people paying taxes, then we can
recruit 10,000 frontline staff such as teachers, nurses, Gardaí”
explained Minister English.

Junior and Senior Infant Class Size Reduction

“If Fine Gael is elected to government by the Irish people, we will
reduce classes size for junior and senior infants. We will reduce the
pupil teacher ratio to 18:1 by 2021. As part of this investment, we
will fund 832 new teachers for Junior and Senior Infants to make this
a reality. The gains young pupils make from smaller class size well
documented. Our children will get a competitive edge.  EVERY child
will benefit from economic recovery. It has a greater impact on
disadvantaged pupils.  It can influence a student behaviour and
initiative from early on. So you see, this is an investment plan in
the future of our country. In our children’s future. But we can only
do this if we keep the recovery going” concluded Minister English.

English: Capital plan for education will see €4 Billion invested from 2016 to 2022

Bohermeen, Education, Enfield, Johnstown, Killyon, Longwood, Meath, Navan, North Meath, School extension

Meath schools and students to benefit from new facilities

Local Meath West T.D. Damien English,  the Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, has welcomed the Government’s new €2.8 Billion Schools Capital Programme 2016 to 2022 announced today (Tuesday 17th November) which includes some good news for Meath schools, and is part of the Department’s overall Capital spend of €4 Billion during this period.

This new Capital Programme outlines the details of the major schools projects that will create 62,000 additional school places nationally at primary and post-primary level to address future demographic demands.  Funding will also be available for the refurbishment of schools in older buildings that require improvement.  The plan also provides for important investment of €210m in IT and wireless broadband capacity in schools.

The schools in Meath that will receive major capital funding for projects include:

Meath 18106P
    SN Na Trionoide Naofa, Lios Muilinn
Primary
Meath 19560T
    St Mary’s Special School, Johnstown, Navan
Special School
Meath 19671F
    St Paul’s NS, Abbeylands, Navan
Primary
Meath 19813W
    Kildalkey Central NS
Primary
Meath 64410F
    Eureka Secondary School, Kells
Post Primary
Meath 16100Q
    Mercy Convent NS, Navan
Primary
Meath 20032B
    Dunboyne Junior NS
Primary
Meath 20033D
    Dunboyne Senior NS
Primary
Meath 20352S
    Ard Rí Community NS
Primary
Meath 71980O
    O’Carolan College, Nobber
Post Primary
Meath 91508C
    Boyne Community School, Trim
Post Primary
Meath 19216E
    St. Ultan’s Special School, Navan
Special School
Meath 20191V
    St. Peter’s COI NS, Dunboyne
Primary
Meath 64360Q
    St Joseph’s Mercy Secondary School, Navan
Post Primary
Meath 64420I
    Franciscan College, Gormanston
Post Primary
Meath 64450R
    Scoil Mhuire, Trim
Post Primary
Meath 76374U
    ETB Dunboyne College
Post Primary
Meath 91495T
    Ashbourne Community School
Post Primary
Meath 76196W
    De Lacy College, Ashbourne
Post Primary

“This is a very significant investment for education locally in Meath and indeed nationally.  We are responding to local needs and reaffirming commitments outstanding from the previous plan and ensuring the right funding is in place.  This represents a very clear and strategic choice by this Government and shows the importance of education and schools to the life of our country as well as education’s importance to our overall economy” Minister English said.

Enfield

“Enfield is included under the category ‘other areas where additional provision may be required’.  A range of areas nationwide are experiencing increased demographic pressure and will be kept under ongoing review.  At post-primary level, it is apparent at this point that this ongoing demographic analysis will include areas such as Enfield (Kilcock feeder area). Additional provision may be required post 2018 based on this ongoing analysis. I am glad that Enfield is now recognised as an area under consideration given the growth in primary school pupils in the town and its environs” Minister English said.
Minister English noted this new plan is capital funding, money for major new infrastructural projects, and is different from day to day spending in education, which will also grow in line with the expanding economy.  Schools that require additional school classrooms or other minor accommodation works continue to be progressed through the usual channels outside of this major capital programme.
“This new Schools Capital Programme (2016-2022) will build on this Government’s current 5 year programme.  In this regard I want to confirm that Phase 2 of Colaiste na Mí in Johnstown, St. Mary’s Special School in Navan and St. Pauls National School have funding ring fenced for the delivery of the new school buildings.  It is especially pleasing to see that planning permission for Colaiste na Mí phase 2 and St. Mary’s Special School has been lodged last week” Minister English said.
He stated that an additional 60,000 school places at primary and post-primary level have already been provided by this Government since 2011 through new build and extensions projects, including many in Co. Meath.  He highlighted schools such as Beaufort College, Baconstown N.S., Killyon NS, Bohermeen NS & Longwood that have seen great developments recently in their educational facilities.
“The quality of these new purpose built school building projects in Meath is top class and they provide our youngest generation with a fantastic learning environment” stated Minister English.

“This Government is increasing both current and capital investment in education in a safe and sustainable way in line with our growing economy, and so as to future proof our economy and the skill set of our younger generation.  This will benefit all our citizens, with a very positive impact on our economic, social and cultural life, especially in towns and parishes in across Co. Meath” concluded Minister English.

English: Capital plan for education will see €4 Billion invested from 2016 to 2021

Bohermeen, Education, Enfield, Jobs, Killyon, Longwood, Meath, School extension
Damien English, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation and Meath West Fine Gael TD has welcomed the significant portion of the Government’s new €27bn capital programme for 2016 to 2021 that will be devoted to the education sector.

The Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills stated that the next capital plan announced by the Government some €3.8bn in direct funding will be invested in educational projects.  By comparison the initial allocation for education under the previous five year capital programme was €2.2bn. An additional €200m in Public Private Partnership funding over the life time of the capital programme will result in more than €4bn in public investment in education from 2016 to 2021.

“This is a very significant investment of money for education.  It represents a very clear and strategic choice by this Government and shows the importance of education and schools to the life of our country, especially in rural areas, as well as education’s importance to our overall economy” Minister English said.

Minister English noted this is capital funding, money for major new infrastructural projects, and is different from day to day spending in education, which will also grow in line with the expanding economy.  He stated that an additional 60,000 school places at primary and post-primary level have already been provided by this Government since 2011 through new build and extensions projects, including many in Co. Meath.  He highlighted schools such as Beaufort College, Baconstown N.S., Killyon NS, Bohermeen NS & Longwood that has seen great developments recently in their educational facilities.  

“The quality of these new purpose built school building projects in Meath is top class and they provide our youngest generation with a fantastic learning environment.  But there remains more we can and must do. Projects under the existing schools capital plan such as St. Paul’s in Navan, Colaiste na Mí (Phase 2) in Johnstown and St. Mary’s Special School have already funding ear marked for their building needs to be completed” stated Minister English.

In the coming weeks a new Schools Capital Plan by the Department of Education and Skills will be announced.  This plan will outline the details of the major schools projects that will create 62,000 additional school places at primary and post-primary level to address future demographic demands.  Funding will also be available for the refurbishment of schools in older buildings that require improvement.  The plan also provides for important investment of €210m in IT and wireless broadband capacity in schools.  

“In Meath West I am aware of the demands of schools such as St. Ultan’s Special School in Navan, the Educate Together School in Trim, Ard Rí Community National School in Navan, Lismullin NS and the need for a new second level school for Enfield in South Meath amongst others” Minister English stated.

“This Government is increasing both current and capital investment in education in a safe and sustainable way in line with our growing economy, and so as to future proof our economy and the skill set of our younger generation.  This will benefit all our citizens, with a very positive impact on our economic, social and cultural life, especially in rural towns and parishes in Meath West” concluded Minister English.

New classroom for St. Mary’s N.S., Collinstown, Co. Westmeath.

Collinstown, Education, School extension, Wesmeath
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Councilor Frank McDermott

Along with local Councillor Frank McDermott I am delighted to announce that the Department of Education and Skills has sanctioned a devolved grant to provide for additional accommodation at St. Mary’s National School in Collinstown, Co. Westmeath. The additional accommodation will comprise a mainstream classroom with en-suite toilets together with toilet facilities for assisted users. The School Board of Management has been notified of the grant sanction and I commend them on their voluntary work in running the school, as well as the work of Principal Proinsias Ó Fearghail. Cllr. McDermott joins me in wishing St. Mary’s N.S. well with their new project.

Opening of new St. Ultan’s N.S. Bohermeen extension

Education, School extension

Bohermeen NS

Thursday 28th May was a proud day for the Parish of Bohermeen and especially for pupils, parents and staff of St. Ultan’s National School.

It was great as a former student of St. Ultan’s to return to join Bishop of Meath Michael Smith in the official blessing and opening of a new €308,000 extension to the school.

Schools are at the centre of community life in Ireland, but especially in rural parishes like Boheermeen. They are where friendships are made and values are taught that set people up for life. That was certainly my experience of St. Ultan’s. There is a great team of staff here, both great teachers and great support staff.

Pupils have the benefit of the best people possible here in St. Ultan’s. But pupils, parents and staff deserve the best possible buildings too. That is what we are celebrating and acknowledging here today in Bohermeen. 4 years of my time in this school were spent in prefabs. They were too hot in Summer and too cold in Winter. I am glad that prefabs are on the way out, and that is my vision for all our schools.

The new extension comprises 2 mainstream classrooms, as well as a resource room and new external ramps, together with associated works. The school has received funding of €123,000 over the last 7 years under various Summer Works Schemes for works to the toilets, windows and structural improvements

The 218 pupil school has also been approved a further teaching post from September 2015 for the next school year.

Minister Damien English turns the sod on new 500 student Longwood School

Education

Sod in the air pic Longwood

Today, Monday 25th May 2015, I turned the sod on the new purpose built second level school for Longwood with accommodation for 500 students as well as a Special Needs Unit.

I told the gathering from the community of the wider Longwood area that today is a proud day for the Longwood community as the sod is turned on a new purpose built school, with contractors, Ganson, due on site in the next two week to commence works.

Schools are at the heart of every parish and community in Ireland. They are the engines of communities, and now Longwood will have a brand new engine to propel it into the 21st Century.

I am delighted that after all this time that the sod has finally been turned for the new Second Level School in Longwood that will serve the town and the surrounding hinterlands.

I want to thank all those involved in bringing this project into fruition; the current and past boards of management at St. Fintina’s, the parents groups, the staff & pupils at the school.  For years they have put up with working in a school that was in need of replacement. The standard of education provided remained high & this ensured that the necessary enrolment numbers were sufficient to back up their argument for the new facilities.”

I want to acknowledge the input of Principal Tom Stack. I remember meeting with a delegation of parents and staff led by Tom in 2002 on this very issue. It was through Tom’s persistence and the willingness to continue with the campaign for a new school that we are where we are today.

Today marks the end of a long campaign to secure a new second level school for Longwood. The campaign has gained the support from across the community and all political representatives from the area over the years.

Peter Kierans, Chief Executive of the Louth Meath Education and Training Board was also commended for promoting the need for the new school in Longwood over the past decade

Minister English was joined by fellow public representatives Deputy Ray Butler, Chariman of Trim District Council Cllr Joe Fox who is a former Board of Management member, Cllr Enda Flynn, Cllr Noel French, Cllr Trevor Golden and Cllr Caroline O’Loinsigh and former Councillor Seamus Murray at the sod turning.

Parish Priest Fr. Carney did a blessing in the presence of the guests as well as students, parents and community representatives.

Minister English launches new Dunboyne College of Further Education

Education, Meath, Skills

Today, Thursday 14th May 2015, marked both an important end and beginning in the history of education in Dunboyne and for Co. Meath.

It marked the end of Dunboyne College of Further Education time as part of St. Peter’s College and the beginning of what is hoped will be a long and successful era as a provider of Post Leaving Certificate courses as a stand-alone PLC centre in its own right.

The launch of the new educational entity took place in Dunboyne Castle Hotel and was attended by myself as Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English T.D. & Tánaiste Joan Burton T.D. who is a T.D. for neighbouring Dublin West constituency.

Stand-alone status for Dunboyne College of Further Education is something that I have worked on as a T.D. for Meath since 2002, and in the last year as a local Minister based in the Department of Education.

I thank my Dáil colleagues in Meath East Regina Doherty, Helen McEntee and Dominic Hannigan for their continuous representations on the matter.

We live in changing times and none more so than in the Further Education and Training Sector. Recent reforms such as the establishment of SOLAS and the 16 Education and Training Boards, and now a new standalone Dunboyne College of Further Education will lead to real long term change in Meath and nationally.

I would like to pay tribute to Peter Kierans, Chief Executive of Louth and Meath ETB and all the ETB staff who support the provision of further education and training across the ETB area. I congratulate Denis Leonard, Principal, and the staff of Dunboyne College of Further Education and everyone involved with today’s events.

Dunboyne College of Further Education has for many years, as part of St. Peter’s College, provided Post Leaving Certificate courses to students in the Meath, west Dublin and north Kildare region. Post Leaving Certificate courses are aimed at preparing learners both for employment and for progression into other areas of education and training.

It has grown on an annual basis and now over 400 students are participating in a diverse range of courses including Arts, and Business, Social Care, Sports and Science, Nursing and Healthcare, Multimedia, Sound and Music, Childcare and Journalism. The range of these courses was very in evident in the graduation ceremony earlier today.

Minister English Addresses Launch of Springboard+ 2015

Skills, Speeches, Springboard

7th May 2015

Check against Delivery

Good morning everyone and welcome to the launch of Springboard+ 2015.

I want to thank John, Marie and Ciaran for sharing their experiences of Springboard with us this morning.

It is clear from what we have heard that participating on a Springboard course can really make a difference.

Employment trends

An important feature of Springboard has been the evaluation of outcomes for these participants and employment trends.

This has enabled us to track outcomes for over 21,000 people who have already participated on a Springboard course between 2011 and 2014.

I am delighted that new data from the Department of Social Protection shows that 74% of all Springboard participants during this period are no longer on the Live Register.

Data also shows that while participants who were long-term unemployed at the start of their course find it harder to get employment, 45% of this group now achieve employment/self-employment within 6 months of completing a Springboard course.

This validates our focus this year on increasing the availability of Springboard courses for participants with no previous higher education qualifications.   This is being achieved by an increase in level 6 courses in particular.

Data also shows that the quality of employment is trending upwards with 85% of survey respondents in full-time jobs.

95% of jobs are in Ireland and 49% are located outside Dublin.

Feedback from participants

 In terms of feedback from participants, 98% of 2014 graduates recommend Springboard to others wishing to reskill for employment.

Participants have also identified the most helpful aspects of Springboard for securing employment as work placement, the part-time and flexible delivery of courses; course content, the qualification received; and networking opportunities with employers.

In that context, I’m pleased to say that work placement is now a feature of over 90% of courses in 2015 (excluding entrepreneurship courses) compared to 70% of courses in 2011.

Springboard+ is specifically targeted at high growth areas.   ICT skills are particularly in demand.  Springboard+ will ensure that graduates have these high-level ICT skills that will address the needs of employers.   This is supported by findings from a survey of ICT skills conversion graduates which indicates that 87% of graduates are in employment within 18 months of completing their course.

Springboard+ is just one of a number of industry focused reskilling initiatives that are available to jobseekers. Momentum, JobBridge, and the Skillnets are also providing additional targeted programmes, focused on addressing the skill needs of industry and supporting jobseekers into employment.

Information on all of these initiatives can be found on www.skillstowork.ie, which is aimed at making it easier for jobseekers and employers to know what Government skills initiatives are available.

Finally, I am delighted to see that the Springboard Helpline will be available again this year.  This helpline is invaluable to prospective students when deciding on the best course options available to them under Springboard.

ENDS

– See more at: http://www.education.ie/en/Press-Events/Speeches/2015-Speeches/SP15-05-07.html#sthash.9YZ3xqWH.dpuf