Written answers

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Department of Education and Skills

School Funding

Photo of Aodhán Ó RíordáinAodhán Ó Ríordáin (Dublin Bay North, Labour)
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79. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost to restore the standard capitation rate for pupils in primary schools to €200. [23612/22]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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My Department provides funding to recognised Primary and Post-Primary schools in the free education scheme by way of per capita grants. The two main grants are the Capitation grant to cater for day to day running costs such as heating, lighting, cleaning, insurance, general up-keep etc. and the Ancillary/School Services Support Fund (SSSF) to cater for the cost of employing ancillary services staff. Schools also receive a range of other grants including Book Grants, Programme grants etc., as well as capital funding and direct staffing supports. Overall, schools received €564 million in capitation funding in the last academic year.

In addition, under the COVID-19 response plans, a range of supports are being made available to all recognised schools in the free education scheme. Overall €948 million has been made available to schools. To date more than €318 million of additional capitation funding, which includes €159.6 million for the 2021/2022 school year, has been made available to primary and post primary schools to provide for Cleaning, PPE and hand hygiene, Enhanced Supervision and employment of an Aide.

I understand the need for improved capitation funding and I am pleased that budget 2020 was able to provide for a further 2.5% increase in standard capitation funding for primary schools that applied from the start of the 2020/21 school year. This builds on the 5% increase in capitation announced in budget 2019.

All schools have received the benefit of the capitation increases awarded to date. It is my intention to seek funding for further capitation increases in future budgets.

Annual funding would need to be increased by an additional €10 million approximately to restore the standard capitation rate for pupils in primary schools to €200 based on current enrolments.

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