Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Questions (117)

Emmet Stagg

Question:

117. Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will confirm that the only State support to fee-paying schools relates to teacher pay and that the schools themselves have to cover all of their other costs from fee income; and in view of the situation if it is reasonable to refer to fee income as discretionary as his Department did in a recent report. [32475/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The salaries of teachers employed within the approved annual staffing allocation for fee charging schools by my Department, are paid by the State. In addition, the salaries of approved Special Needs Assistants and clerical officers are also paid by my Department. The estimated cost of these posts in the 2011/2012 academic year was in the order of €103m.

Some limited funding is provided for capital projects undertaken in fee charging schools. The Department provided approximately €6.5m in capital funding in 2012. Fee charging schools do not receive any capitation or related grants from my Department.

As outlined in the report "Fee Charging Schools - Analysis of Fee income", which I published last March, the tuition fee income of fee charging schools was adjusted or discounted by the amount of exchequer funding forgone to obtain the discretionary income of the schools. That exercise provided an opportunity to compare the position with that of similar sized schools in the Free Education Scheme and to identify the additional funding that the fee charging schools continue to have available when compared to other schools of comparable size.

A copy of the report is available on my Department's website.

Question No. 118 answered with Question No. 114.