Wednesday, 29 June 2022
Department of Education and Skills
95. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the total State support for a second level DEIS school is the combination of State grant and budget for the running cost of the school and funding under the DEIS programme; if the derived total State support per DEIS student is consequently less for such a student in a voluntary secondary school compared with the total State support for their peer attending an education and training board or community and comprehensive school in the same area; the respective levels of such combined State support per student in DEIS schools in the different second level school sectors; the measures her Department would suggest to address the disparity in total State funding levels per student for DEIS students in the voluntary school sector; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34757/22]
DEIS - Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools is the main policy initiative of my Department to address educational disadvantage at school level. My Department will spend approximately €170million on supports for schools under the DEIS programme in 2022.
In the region of €16.2 million was provided to primary and post primary schools in the form of a DEIS grant for the 2021/22 school year. The purpose of this DEIS specific funding is to support the objectives of the DEIS programme, including retention, attendance, literacy and numeracy. The DEIS programme provides a suite of supports to specifically support educational disadvantage. DEIS grant funding and supports are applied equitably across all DEIS post-primary schools, irrespective of the patronage or governance model for a given school.
DEIS supports are targeted at supporting the educational outcomes of those pupils most at risk of educational disadvantage, and are not intended to cover the day to day costs of the school as is the case with capitation funding.
With regards to the funding arrangements for the day to day running of post primary schools, these arrangements reflect the sectoral division of the second-level system. Funding provided to schools in the ETB, Community & Comprehensive sectors is primarily based on budgets determined by my Department. Voluntary Secondary schools in the Free Education Scheme are funded by way of per capita grants. At the core of these arrangements is reliance upon capitation as a key determinant of funding and enrolments are the main driver in the level of funding provided.
There are historical arrangements in place whereby the Capitation Grant funding for Voluntary Secondary Schools is reduced by the School Salary grant. This deduction amounted to €563 per teaching post.
It is estimated that up to €21m has been provided in equalisation funding in the period up to 2009. Furthermore, as agreed with the Joint Managerial Body (JMB), future improvements in equalisation funding is to be directed in the first instance at the elimination of the School Salary grant deduction from the capitation payable to Voluntary Secondary Schools. Therefore, Budget 2020 provided additional funding to cater for a 20% reduction in the School Salary Grant deduction from 1 September 2020. This brought the deduction down from €563 to €450.40 per whole-time equivalent teaching post.
I was delighted to have secured further funding in Budget 2022 to complete the elimination of this deduction. This means that all of the Voluntary Secondary Schools in the Free Education Scheme will see capitation funding increase resulting in an estimated additional €1.4 million being made available to these schools in 2022 and €5.7 million in 2023.