Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Education and Skills

School Equipment

Photo of Jackie CahillJackie Cahill (Tipperary, Fianna Fail)
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188. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which schools can apply for the ICT grant package as recently announced; and the way in which an individual student can access support from the grant. [5787/20]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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As part of the implementation of the Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 - Enhancing Teaching, Learning and Assessment, funding of €210m for ICT Infrastructure will be distributed by my Department to primary and second level schools over the five years of the Strategy. €110m has issued over the last three years and a further €40m has recently been issued.

The additional €10m ICT funding issuing over the coming days is also part of the broader Digital Strategy investment. The funding is to assist schools to support students at risk of educational disadvantage due to school closures. Schools have been asked to use this funding to address situations where students are disadvantaged in their engagement with the schools remote teaching and learning due to lack of access to digital devices. Schools are best placed to determine how best to address the requirements of their pupil/student cohort and will have autonomy to do so, within the criteria applying to this funding.

Schools are not required to apply for the ICT grant payments, and full details regarding the funding are set out in Circulars 0031/2020 (€40m funding) and 0032/2020 (€10m funding) which are available on the Department’s website at

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Schools are advised to support the continuity of learning, and encouraged to make available existing devices to students who are unable to access classes because there are no devices available.  In this context schools will liaise with pupils/students and parents, and are advised to maintain a register of devices, the students/pupils/teachers to whom each has been loaned and a log of confirmation for return of each device. As these devices are property of the school all schools should put in place an agreement of understanding for the loan of a device to a student and it will be recommended that an undertaking to return the device to the school, when remote learning is no longer required, is obtained from either from the parent/guardian or the student in the event that the student is 18 or over.

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