The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has announced the issuing of Letters of Intent to successful contractors for Lot 6 of the Department’s Design & Build programme comprising 10 schools, including 3 campus projects, across two different bundles.

This is one of the largest bundles of new school projects undertaken to date by the Department of Education, comprising some 83,000m2 of new state-of-the-art facilities catering for almost 8,000 students including facilities for special classes.

These schools are part of the follow through of the announcement last week of €800m investment for progression of close to 90 projects to construction over the course of 2024 and early 2025.

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These new school buildings are flagship developments in their area and will provide new and modern facilities to help cater for growing populations due to significant rollout of housing developments.

These new school buildings will incorporate renewable systems that include heat pump technologies for heating and also solar panels.

 

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In addition, they will also incorporate Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR) systems which represents the Department’s ongoing response to the climate action plan.

The issue of the Letters of Intent is a significant milestone in the progression of these important flagship projects.

 

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The next major milestone will be the issue of the Letters of Acceptance to the successful contractors.

This will be done following further engagement with the successful contractors in relation to their tenders for the design and construction of the new schools.

This engagement will also provide clarity on the contractor’s programme of works for the delivery of the projects and timelines.

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Minister Foley said:

It gives me great pleasure to announce the Letters of Intent for these 10 schools which are a key priority for my Department.

The delivery of these projects will transform the teaching and learning environment for these school communities.

Since 2020, the Department of Education has invested around €4.5 billion in schools throughout the country.

Around 800 school building projects have been completed and 300 other projects are under construction.

This level of construction rollout recognises the priority that Government puts on investment in education.

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Welcoming the news Minister Rabbitte said:

€4.5 billion invested schools throughout the country since 2020 is a huge achievement by this government spearheaded by my colleague and Fianna Fáil, Minister for Education, Norma Foley.

Investment in education has always been a top priority for Fianna Fáil in government.

For school-goers today it may be hard to imagine, but up until the introduction of “free education’’, only a minority of young people went on to participate in post-primary education.

By the mid-1960s, one-third of all children were leaving full-time education on completion of primary schooling and less than 60 per cent of all 15 year-olds were remaining on in school.

 

Key milestone reached for 10 flagship new school buildings - Department of Education 1
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The decade of the 1960s was one of the most progressive in Irish educational history, ushering in a more ambitious and strategic policy approach.

Many associate Fianna Fáil’s Donagh O’ Malley as the politician who brought us free education, and O’Malley’s role was indeed pivotal in his role as Minister for Education.

The fact that one-third of young people received no education beyond primary level was, O’ Malley contended, “a dark stain on the national conscience” and he set about addressing this once in office.

Today, Ireland boasts one of the highest rates of second-level completion in the EU, with more than 90 per cent of young people completing the Leaving Certificate.

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and she continued:

Investing in the education of a small country like Ireland is paramount for many reasons.

Education serves as the cornerstone of societal progress, empowering individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in an increasingly competitive global landscape.

In Ireland, a strong educational system not only cultivates a skilled workforce but also fosters innovation, entrepreneurship, and critical thinking essential for economic growth.

Moreover, education promotes social mobility, narrowing inequalities and providing opportunities for all segments of the population to succeed.

By investing in education, Ireland can ensure a brighter future for its citizens, bolstering both individual prosperity and national development.

 

 

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