Dec 4 / Joanna Smith

What you need to know about your ICT Grant Funding

by Joanna Smith
With the latest ICT Grant Funding made available, schools are being asked to consider their digital learning plan and use this funding strategically to improve learning outcomes for students. But how do you best go about this?

We've extracted the key points from the latest Department of Education Circular with links to valuable resources to support your school with this.

Digital Learning Plan
All schools must have a Digital Learning Plan outlining their vision for the embedding of digital technologies in teaching, learning and assessment, incorporating targets and priorities for improvement and development.

The Digital Learning Plan should be reviewed and updated, at least annually, and used to guide spending of the ICT grant funding.

Schools should use the ‘school self-evaluation’ review questions below as a focus for their digital review:   
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Payment of ICT Grant Funding
Grant funding of €40m for ICT Infrastructure will be distributed in the coming weeks to schools together with a further €10m in additional funding which will be processed as one payment. 

Funding Distribution 
All schools will receive a lump sum of €2,000 (€1,000 in respect of fee-charging schools).

A per capita amount will be paid to each school based on the number of pupils on the school rolls on the 30th September 2019, payable as follows:

  • €30.25 per mainstream pupil in primary schools
  • €36.30 per special needs pupil in primary schools
  • €33.28 per pupil in DEIS primary schools
  • €33.28 per pupil in a DEIS primary school
  • €43.26 per student in post primary schools
  • €47.58 per student in a DEIS post primary school
  • €21.63 per student in a fee paying school

Schools which opened prior to the 2017 calendar year, or are in buildings built prior to the 2017 calendar year, will be eligible for the funding.

€10m in funding, will be distributed in a lump sum based on school size as per the table below:

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How Can Funding be Spent?
Funding can be utilised to support the implementation of the requirements of the recent department circular 0074/2020 and must be used for the purchase of ICT equipment. 

Schools are required to use established public procurement arrangements for purchases and to retain records of expenditure and supporting documentation for inspection if required.

Funding can be spent on:
  • The purchase of ICT devices for staff or students to support in-class or remote learning
  • Projectors and networking equipment
  • Cloud based learning tools and applications
  • Set up or management of a school communication and learning platform
  • Staff professional development training and technology support for teachers, parents or students.

Student devices may be distributed to those who don’t have access to technology for learning with a focus on leaving certificate students in post primary schools. Devices remain the property of the school who must make arrangements for their return when students leave the school.

Synopsis taken from Department of Education circular 0077/2020.
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About the Author

Joanna Smith

Joanna is a primary school teacher who taught for 14 years in Tallaght. She is passionate about providing opportunities for educators and school management teams to collaborate, upskill and share best practice in teaching and learning.
Joanna currently works as Events and Marketing Manager at Wriggle where she organises edtech publications and training events in technology for learning for schools and colleges.
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