Grants will be offered to 46 schools to replace rented prefabs with permanent buildings.

Minister for Education and Science Ruairi Quinn has said that €15m is being made available this year under the prefab replacement initiative.

So far, 30 other schools have replaced prefabs and work is under way at 100 other sites.

Under the initiative, approval was given to 170 schools to replace 458 prefab units with permanent structures.

A total of €42m has been allocated, of which €23.6m has been paid.

The scheme is projected to save €5m a year in rental costs.