asked the Minister for Education whether he is aware that some secondary schools who are participating in the free scheme have convened meetings of parents and obtained guarantees of financial contribution from them; and if any action will be taken to ensure that the spirit of the free scheme survives.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Secondary Schools Scheme.
I am aware that in some secondary schools meetings of parents were convened in connection with the free post-primary education scheme and that arrangements of one kind or another have been made whereby schools participating in the scheme receive voluntary payments from parents.
The terms of the scheme in the matter of contributions by parents have been explained to the Managers of all secondary schools. Schools which incurred large capital debts before the scheme of building grants was introduced may participate in the scheme on the basis of parents making a voluntary contribution towards the liquidation of these debts, provided it is made absolutely clear to parents that there is no question whatsoever of a charge being made, and that in making a contribution they are doing so of their own volition.
If I am made aware of any case in which the basic conditions attaching to the free education scheme are being contravened I shall certainly take whatever action is appropriate to deal with the matter.