I do not agree with the Deputy. There are remarkable strengths in our education system. We attract some of the most talented people into teaching. Our performance in reading and mathematics is very strong, perhaps not so in science. We have one of the lowest school dropout rates and one of the highest third level participation rates in Europe, so we have a good education system. Of course, we need to do more to make sure it is better and the best in Europe.
We would like to be in a position to increase the capitation grant, which is currently €170, and the ancillary grant, which is currently €153 per pupil. However, it comes at a time when €600 million across all Departments is available in the budget for discretionary spend, which puts a constraint on our ambitions. I assure the Deputy that bearing in mind the views of other Deputies who have placed emphasis on the need for postgraduate education, counselling in our education system or investment in school buildings, I seek to balance all those calls in a fair way. Another factor is the need to restore qualification allowances for newly qualified teachers. All those elements are competing for resources in the budget and I will try to be as fair as possible in allocating them.