Cutbacks ‘to affect local schools’

‘The decision by the Government to axe the Devolved Grant Scheme will hit many schools throughout Roscommon and South Leitrim’ local TD Denis Naughten has stated.    Speaking yesterday (Wednesday) in the Dáil the Minister for Education announced that the Devolved Grant scheme is being cut back, an announcement that comes on the back of the abolition of the Summer Works Scheme last December and other cutbacks across Department projects.    ‘Since the general election, the Government has presided over cutbacks, broken promises and the axing of vital programmes such as the Summer Works Scheme but this latest issue is particularly galling,’ stated Deputy Naughten.    ‘The Devolved Grant is the common name for the Grant Scheme for Minor Works to National School Properties. It is to be used on the physical infrastructure of the school or on items of furniture or equipment for educational use including IT related equipment. For example, the grant is used for the replacement of windows, roof repairs, re-surfacing of school yard, the purchase of furniture and PE equipment as well as acquiring IT equipment.    ‘The Minister said that the grant scheme will not be funded to the same extent as previous years. In other words, she’s slashing it. Minister Hanafin had to be pushed several times to admit that she was cutting the devolved grant and the fact that she only revealed her intentions in this manner will lead to accusations of her trying to sneak this cutback in through the back door.’