Thursday, 29 April 2021
Department of Education and Skills
68. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the process of oversight for national school financial accounts; if individual school accounts are published; if they are available to trade unions during workplace relations disputes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22464/21]
All schools are, in accordance with section 18 of the Education Act 1998, required to keep all proper and usual accounts and records of all monies received by it or expenditure of such monies incurred by it and must ensure that in each year all such accounts are properly audited or certified in accordance with best accounting practice.
The Act further requires that such accounts shall be made available by the school for inspection by the Minister and by parents of students in the school, in so far as those accounts relate to monies provided in accordance with Section 12 of the Act. There is no requirement for accounts to be made available for workplace relations disputes.
The Financial Support Services Unit (FSSU) supports financial governance in primary schools (other than schools established or maintained by ETB’s) by providing an advice and support service for schools to enable them comply with the provisions of the Education Act, 1998 in terms of accountability, transparency and financial responsibility for State funds. The FSSU provides advice and support to primary schools in financial governance and all aspects of financial management and control including standardising arrangements for compliance with accounting requirements under Section 18 of the Education Act 1998. All boards management of such schools indicated above are required to prepare and file accounts with the Financial Support Services Unit annually. The financial arrangements for primary schools are set out in the ‘Governance Manual for Primary Schools 2019-2013’ link here.
The financial governance of primary schools established or maintained by ETB’s shall at all times be managed and comply with the financial policy of the relevant ETB in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Practice for the Governance of Education and Training Boards, statutory provision, relevant Department circulars, and best practice guidelines set out by my Department and the ETB.