INTO condemns failure to fund primary school ICT

The INTO has condemned the failure of the Department of Education (DE) to issue any ICT funding to schools since late in 2021.

The initial tranche of grants to support the implementation of the Digital Strategy for Schools to 2027 was issued to schools in late 2021.

The DE informed school managers today that it “hoped to issue the next tranche of funding in the 2023-2024 school year”.

INTO Deputy General Secretary, Deirdre O’Connor said:

This vague statement indicates a lack of planning in relation to the strategy by DE, while schools are asked to develop digital learning plans and develop the quality of their digital learning infrastructure. A digital strategy without funding is not worth the paper it is written on.

“The absence of a payment since 2021 and the lack of certainty in relation to when the next funding will appear is a blow to schools trying to replace outdated IT infrastructure and integrate digital learning into their planning.

“With school funding already stretched because capitation grants for primary schools are completely inadequate to meet rising costs, the INTO will be raising the issue in the context of our pre-Budget lobby.”