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Capitation Grants

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 16 April 2019

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Questions (160)

Kathleen Funchion

Question:

160. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost to restore the standard capitation rate for pupils in primary schools to €200 which was the rate in 2010 prior to cuts; and his views on whether this is a diminishing cost in view of the falling enrolments in primary schools. [17204/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I fully recognise the need to improve capitation funding for schools.

I am pleased to have been able to provide for a 5% increase in capitation funding for primary and post primary schools that will apply from the start of the 2019/20 school year. Over the course of the school year 2019/20, an additional €10 million will be allocated to primary and post primary schools, of which €4 million will be allocated in 2019.

While this increase represents the beginning of the process of restoration, annual funding would need to be increased by a further €25.5m approximately to restore grants to pre-2011 levels.  This would cost circa €12.5m at Primary level and €13m at Post-Primary level based on current enrolments.

However, as the Deputy is aware, while Primary enrolments are expected to peak in the 2018/19 school year those at second level are increasing. By 2024/25 these enrolments are expected to be in excess of 402,176 for the first time in the history of the State.

Therefore I must be prudent in the context of increasing enrolments and ongoing budgetary pressures and I have to prioritise where it is not possible to do everything that I would like to do in the Education Sector in any one year.

It is my intention to seek funding for further capitation increases in future budgets.

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