Minister O'Keeffe slashes Westmeath schools' prefab bill

Three schools in Westmeath have opted to use grant aid for the purchase of temporary accommodation to build permanent classrooms instead, according to the Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe.

St Michael's National School, Scoil na Maighdine Mhuire, and St Tolan's National School in Mullingar are among 131 schools across the country that have chosen to be part of the new scheme which allows schools to use Department grant-aid to build new classrooms instead of buying temporary units for which the money was intended.

Minister O'Keeffe announced the shift in policy last summer and the response from schools has been very positive.

Speaking about his initiative, Minister O'Keeffe said, “I’m tackling excessive spending on prefabs with a combination of commonsense policy moves and intensive negotiations with suppliers.

“I’ve allowed schools to use grant aid for the purchase of prefabs to build permanent classrooms instead. And if a prefab is needed for more than three years, the Department will offer a school a grant to buy it rather than to rent it.”

Seven schools in Westmeath have chosen to buy temporary classrooms as part of that measure.

These are St Patrick's National School, Killucan; Scoil Dhiarmada, Castlepollard; St Joseph's National School, Killucan; All Saints National School, Mullingar; Scoil an Chlochair and Mean Scoil an Chlochair, Kilbeggan; and Mercy Secondary School, Kilbeggan.

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