Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Education and Skills
Information and Communications Technology
218. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the availability of grants for the upgrading of information technology systems in a secondary school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2954/20]
The Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020, sets out my Department's policy regarding the embedding of the use of digital technology in teaching, learning and assessment, and affirms that the use of digital technology can enhance the teaching and learning experience. The Strategy recognises that schools require investment in their ICT infrastructure. Funding of some €210m is designated to support the implementation of this strategy, with €110m of that funding commitment issued to schools over the past three years.
I recently announced that a further €40m will issue to schools in respect of the 2019/2020 school year, to issue shortly. A further €10m will be distributed to schools later in the school year through an Additional Funding application process, with schools qualifying for additional funding based on evidence of their engagement with Digital Strategy initiatives. This provision of funding will support schools in updating and renewing their ICT infrastructure and assist schools to embed innovative and cutting edge technologies to enhance teaching, learning and assessment in their schools.
Expenditure of this grant funding should align with the school's Digital Learning Plan, with advice and support on developing this plan available from the PDST-TiE at In that context, the funding can be used for a broad range of requirements outlined in the relevant circular issued to schools regarding the Digital Strategy grant funding.
The Professional Development Service for Teachers Technology in Education (PDST-TIE) offers advice to schools and have developed advice sheets on digital technology in education, in addition to providing professional learning for teachers.
All new school buildings and additional classroom accommodation projects receive ICT grant funding as part of their furniture and equipment funding from the Planning and Building Unit of the Department.