Government to put €72 million towards ventilation in schools and childcare services 1 year ago

Government to put €72 million towards ventilation in schools and childcare services

The Departments of Education and Children announced separate grants.

The Government is to provide up to €72 million for schools and childcare services to improve ventilation in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Minister for Education Norma Foley announced €62 million as part of additional pandemic-related supports for schools, while Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman separately announced €10 million in funding to improve ventilation in creches.

As the Irish Times reports, schools will have flexibility on how they use Minister Foley's funding to make improvements, including the purchase of furniture or computers, or the high-efficiency particulate-absorbing filter (Hepa) machines if necessary.

€45 million of this funding will go to primary schools and special schools, with €17 million going towards secondary schools.


“This significant increase in funding for schools will enable them to address both their minor works requirements and also to address small-scale ventilation improvements at school level as a short-term mitigation measure, should they require to do so,” Ms Foley said.

The Department of Education issued updated guidelines on good ventilation practice for schools in May and also offered technical guidance on Hepa filters.

Hepa filters will also be eligible for purchase under the funding announced by Minister O’Gorman, whose department is also tackling staffing issues in childcare services due to Covid-19-related absences.

Mr O’Gorman said higher education institutions would facilitate the temporary allowance of students in childcare-related courses to work in such services to ease pressures during the pandemic.